Former Polish president says Bush, Lukashenka and Medvedev should not go to Beijing

Former Polish president Alexander Kwasniewski reflects in an interview with the European Radio for Belarus on how EU and US could push the government in Beijing towards the talks with Dalai-Lama ahead of the Olympic Games in Beijing. Kwasniewski: "I was a sportsman and a chairman of the National Olympic Committee. I am a politician, so I think that two things fall out of the discussion. First: athletes should go to the Olympics. The years of preparations, hard work should not be wasted.

Respecting their efforts for many years, I would appeal to all the athletes in the world to go to the Olympics and compete basing on the fair-play rules, enjoying the victories. It is not the athletes who chose Beijing as the host of the Olympic Games. Olympics are not for politicians to resolve problems of certain regions. This is a fest of sports, the embodiment of the ideas of peace and friendship.

Second: what do we have to do as politicians? All of us, ranging from myself to president Bush, including president Lukashenka, president Medvedev, the European Union, must make a statement that we will not attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. This will be a problem for the Chinese government, but there is still time left before August 2008 in order to resolve political problems through negotiations.

I can imagine that in several months we will go to the opening ceremony of the Games after the negotiations and will see Dalai-Lama present there. It would be a wonderful picture to see Dalai-Lama standing next to the presidents of China, America, Germany, Russia, France".

Please check our web site for a full text of interview with Alexander Kwasniewski soon.