Swedish premier opposes Olympic ceremony boycott

Other News Materials 8 April 2008 20:54 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said Tuesday he opposes a boycott of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.

Speaking to reporters before the formal opening of a meeting of Nordic prime ministers on globalization at the Hotel Riksgransen some 300 kilometres above the Arctic Circle, Reinfeldt said in his opinion "we should not boycott the opening ceremony or the games."

Reinfeldt noted that already when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded Beijing the games, China was a one-party state without free elections and where human rights were violated.

At the end of this week, Reinfeld was due to visit China and then Japan for talks on energy, climate change and trade.

Reinfeldt is the first Swedish premier to visit China in 12 years, and climate issues were of interest against the backdrop of efforts to reach a new global treaty on greenhouse gas reductions next year.

His agenda included a meeting with President Hu Jintao, who in June became the first Chinese head of state to visit Sweden, as well as talks with Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.

Reinfeldt has been urged by the opposition Social Democrats and human rights watchdog Amnesty International to also raise the cases of individual political prisoners during his visit.