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European Foreign Ministers to Discuss Tibetan Protests བོད་སྐད།


China has warned European nations not to meddle in its affairs in Tibet, one day before European Union foreign ministers gather for high-level meetings in Slovenia.

The foreign ministers are expected to discuss a possible boycott of the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games hosted by Beijing in August.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman (Qin Gang) said Thursday that protests in Tibet are a domestic matter to be dealt with by Chinese authorities. He said China hopes European nations will not send what he called "erroneous messages" to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

Czech President Vaclav Klaus and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk both say they have declined invitations to the Olympic Games, to protest China's reaction to the Tibetan protests. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said this week that he will not rule out a boycott of the opening ceremony.

France will hold the rotating presidency of the European Union when the Olympic Games begin.

During a visit to Britain this week, Mr. Sarkozy said he and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown agreed that the only way to end violence in Tibet is through dialogue between Beijing and the Dalai Lama, within the framework of Chinese sovereignty.

But Mr. Brown said Britain will not boycott any part of the Olympics. Britain's capital, London, is the site of the 2012 Olympic Games.

On Wednesday, President Bush spoke with Chinese President Hu Jintao by telephone, urging him to talk with the Dalai Lama about the protests. President Hu said the Tibetan leader must stop encouraging what he called the "sabotage" of the Olympic Games before talks can happen.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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