German foreign minister avoids Olympics

German foreign minister avoids Olympics

German foreign minister avoids Olympics

© Copyright ANP 2021
German foreign minister avoids Olympics

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Foreign Minister Annallina Barbock will not attend the Beijing Olympics in February. “I am a big fan of sports but this time I will definitely not go. In the past it was not usual for foreign ministers to be there,” she told German news agency DPA.

Barbock stressed that this was her personal decision and that Germany was still seeking a common position with other EU partners on a possible diplomatic boycott of the Games.

The United States announced weeks ago that it would not send an official representative to China, citing the human rights situation in the world’s most populous country. Beijing’s leadership has been criticized for its treatment of minorities (such as the Uyghurs and Tibetans) and its suppression of the democratic movement in Hong Kong.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin recently called political boycotts of the Winter Games unacceptable and wrong at his annual press conference. “We have always been against the politicization of sports,” he said.

Putin plans to go to Beijing in February for the opening ceremony.

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