French Minister Says No Diplomatic Boycott For Beijing Olympics

France will not follow the lead of some other Western governments and launch a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, the education minister said on Thursday.

The United States, Canada, Australia and Britain all said this week that their government officials will not attend the Games in order to send China a message over its human rights record.

“As for a diplomatic boycott...France will not do it,” Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said on BFM TV.

Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu would attend the Beijing Olympics, he said.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was more guarded and said Paris should take a common stand with other European Union capitals.

Speaking at a joint news conference with new his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock in Paris, Le Drian said there was a need for a common European position on the issue of a diplomatic boycott of the Games in Beijing.

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