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Sarkozy to attend Games' opening

World Briefing / JAPAN

July 10, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

French President Nicolas Sarkozy will attend the Beijing Olympics' opening ceremony, his office said, ending his threat to boycott the event in an apparent attempt to soothe Chinese irritation over French support of Tibet.

Sarkozy was the first world leader to raise the possibility of skipping the festivities to protest China's violent crackdown in Tibet after riots and protests there in March. A snub would have been a slap in the face to China's communist leadership, eager to use the Games to show off the country's clout.

Sarkozy reassured Chinese President Hu Jintao that he would attend the Aug. 8 ceremony, his office said. The two men spoke on the sidelines of the Group of 8 summit of leading industrialized nations in Japan.

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