Sarkozy appeals to China for "restraint"
(dpa) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday called on the Chinese government to demonstrate "restraint" in its handling of the protests against Chinese rule in Tibet, his office said.
In a letter to his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, Sarkozy expressed his wish that the dialogue between Chinese authorities and representatives of the Dalai Lama be rapidly taken up again and intensified so that "all Tibetans feel able to fully express their cultural and spiritual identity" within China.
Sarkozy also said that France was available to act as intermediary in arranging for the resumption of talks.
According to a poll published in the daily Liberation on Monday, 53 per cent of the French are in favour of Sarkozy boycotting the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing to protest the violent suppression of the pro-Tibet demonstrations.
The media rights group Reporters Without Borders has called on world leaders to stay away from the August 8 festivities marking the beginning of the Olympic Games.
However, almost the same proportion of respondents, 55 per cent, said they were against a boycott of the Games themselves by athletes.