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European Commission Head Rejects Calls for Boycott of Olympic Games


The head of the European Commission says he is opposed to any boycott of the Beijing Olympic Games over the ongoing problems in Tibet.

Jose Manuel Barroso expressed his views Friday after talks with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing. Mr. Barroso says he and Mr. Wen had frank discussions on Tibet, and that he hoped to "see positive developments soon."

Mr. Wen says he gave Mr. Barroso an update on the situation in Tibet, and that the two sides agreed to work more closely on environmental and food safety issues. Mr. Wen says the EU and China's mutual interests far outweigh their conflicts and differences.

Tensions have been growing between the two since Beijing's harsh crackdown on anti-government protesters in Tibet in March.

The European Parliament has urged EU leaders to boycott the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games in August unless Chinese leaders hold talks with Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

But, Mr. Barroso says the games must be successful because they celebrate the world's youth.

Chaotic anti-Chinese demonstrations in London and Paris during the Olympic torch run sparked Chinese nationalist calls for a boycott of European goods. Demonstrations also have been launched against French retailer Carrefour.

Mr. Barroso and Mr. Wen covered a range of topics during today's talks, including sustainable development, climate change and trade. The European leader says both sides agreed there was a major trade imbalance that favored Beijing.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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