Saturday, April 5, 2008

Yade Denies, Le Monde Affirms

Rama Yade denies that she told Le Monde that Sarkozy was laying down three conditions for him to appear at the opening ceremonies of the Olympics: end of violence against Tibetans and release of political prisoners; openness about events in Tibet; and beginning of discussions with the Dalai Lama. The official presidential position is less firm: essentially wait-and-see. Le Monde stands by its story. If Yade and Sarkozy are playing bad cop/good cop, they're being awfully clumsy about it. Meanwhile, Gordon Brown is being joined by the Chinese ambassador to greet the Olympic flame as it passes through London. If Sarkozy's idea in rejoining NATO is to use the alliance as an instrument for enhancing Europe's influence in foreign affairs, the message to China is certainly being blurred by this Franco-British disagreement. Meanwhile, David Douillet, speaking for French athletes, has called on anti-China demonstrators to back off and let athletes carry the protest by wearing a badge intended to register disapproval of China's treatment of Tibet.

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