French President Nicolas Sarkozy says he might
attend the Beijing Olympics if there is progress in talks between China and
representatives of the Dalai Lama.
Mr. Sarkozy had indicated he might
boycott the opening ceremony of the Summer Games following China's crackdown on
He told French television in an interview that aired
Monday that France has been pushing for talks between Tibet's exiled spiritual
leader and the Chinese government.
Mr. Sarkozy said there has been
progress in talks and he could attend the Olympics if more headway is made. His
decision will be announced next week.
Senior envoys of Tibet's
government-in-exile, Lodi Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen, arrived in Beijing Monday
for two days of talks with Chinese officials.
A spokesperson for the
India-based exile government said the Tibetan delegation will begin holding
talks on Tuesday.
Spokesman Tenzin Taklha says the talks are a positive
step, adding that they will give the delegation a chance to discuss its views on
issues such as Tibet's status within China.
China accuses the Dalai Lama
of seeking independence for the mountainous region. The exiled spiritual leader
says he only wants greater religious and cultural autonomy for his people.
The envoys of Tibet's government-in-exile last met with Chinese
officials in May. Talks set for June were postponed because of the massive May
12 earthquake in China's Sichuan province.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and