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Police Face Pro-Tibet Demonstrators in Greece and Nepal བོད་སྐད།


Police faced protesters sympathetic to Tibet in Nepal and Greece Saturday with several demonstrators taken into custody in Katmandu.

More than two thousand Greek police were deployed to guard the Olympic torch as it made its way through Athens where demonstrators gathered to protest China's human rights record.

The torch is to be handed over to Chinese Olympic officials Sunday.

In Nepal, police detained more than 80 protesters gathered outside a Chinese consular office in the capital of Katmandu.

Friday U.S. President George W. Bush and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd both urged China to open talks with the Dalai Lama about recent protests in Lhasa and other areas.

Mr. Rudd said during his visit to Washington it is absolutely clear that there are human-rights abuses in Tibet.

Mr. Bush said he had recently spoken by telephone with Chinese President Hu Jintao telling him a dialogue is in China's best interest.

A U.S. official says Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will raise American concerns about China's actions in Tibet during his talks next week in Beijing.

Speaking after meeting with Mr. Bush, the Australian leader called on China to exercise restraint when dealing with protesters. He says he will raise the issue when he visits China next month.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who also spoke out on the Tibet issue Friday, says boycotting the Beijing Olympics would be ineffective and would insult the Chinese people.

European foreign ministers are divided over a proposal they have received to boycott the August games' opening ceremony, in response to China's crackdown in Tibet. The European Parliament, which has no direct say over EU foreign policy, has invited the Dalai Lama to the EU assembly to plead his cause. However, EU officials say they do not expect any move for a full boycott of the athletic contests - such as the boycott the United States led against the 1980 Moscow Olympics, following the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan.

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