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French President to Attend Opening Ceremony at Beijing Games བོད་སྐད།


French President Nicolas Sarkozy will attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics despite an earlier threat to boycott the event.

Mr. Sarkozy's office says the French leader confirmed his intention to take part in the August eighth ceremony during a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao Wednesday on the sidelines of the G-8 summit in Japan.

Mr. Sarkozy said he will attend the ceremony not only as France's president, but also as the rotating head of the European Union.

China's official Xinhua news agency quotes Mr. Hu as welcoming the decision and calling it the "correct" choice.

Mr. Sarkozy previously had said he might skip the event to protest China's crackdown in Tibet after violent protests and riots there in March.

Although Wednesday's meeting appeared to be a sign that France and China are mending ties, disputes over Tibet remain.

On Tuesday, China's ambassador to France warned Mr. Sarkozy against meeting with Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. Ambassador Kong Quan told reporters that a meeting during the Dalai Lama's visit to France next month would have serious consequences.

In response, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said he has asked the Chinese ambassador to come meet him to explain the remarks.

Kouchner said he was surprised by the ambassador's comments, adding that it would be difficult for France to accept his position.
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