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Reinfeldt rules out Olympic boycott

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Reinfeldt rules out Olympic boycott
17:02 CEST+02:00
Sweden's Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has rejected calls for the country to boycott this summer's Olympic Games in Beijing.

Speaking to journalists at the opening of the first ever Nordic Globalisation Forum in Riksgränsen, Reinfeldt said that issues such as the ongoing Tibet conflict were best dealt with by other means.

"The world was well aware when the IOC made its decision in 2001 that China is not a country that works the way we think a democracy should work. It is a one-party state without free elections and with widespread human rights violations," said Reinfeldt.

The Prime Minister said he did not believe he was depriving himself of an important political weapon on his forthcoming trip to China.

"One should never rule anything out in politics but I think there are other things that are more effective. I believe more in dialogue and openness and I think we have seen small, gradual changes, with the death penalty being one example," said Reinfeldt.

The Moderate Party leader said he had not yet decided whether to take up individual human rights cases during his visit to Beijing.

Reinfeldt also stressed that environmental issues could prove a tough nut to crack.

"The really big issue is getting China to understand that they are a large part of the problem and a large part of the solution," said Reinfeldt.

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