Merkel Will Skip Olympics

German chancellor says she's not protesting, but Czech and Polish leaders are
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2008 7:07 AM CDT
Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus responds during an interview in New York, Tuesday, March 4, 2008, after he spoke to the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change. Klaus is an outspoken skeptic...   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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(Newser) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other top German officials won't be going to the Beijing Olympics, the Guardian reports, joining Polish and Czech leaders who have pledged to stay away. But while Polish PM Donald Tusk and Czech President Vaclav Klaus said they'll be boycotting the opening ceremony to protest human rights abuses in Tibet, the Germans said their absence isn't political.

France's Nicolas Sarkozy has said he is open to the possibility of a boycott, and his foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, has called the idea "interesting." British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has made it clear he plans to attend. The EU's 27 foreign ministers will try to hammer out a common policy at a meeting this weekend.