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Olympic balancing acts

French President Nicolas Sarkozy

Attending? Yes

Explanation: Earlier, Sarkozy had said he would wait for progress in talks between China and the Dalai Lama. But a statement issued last week by Sarkozy's office noted, "The head of state consulted all of his European counterparts and with their agreement will attend the opening ceremony in his double capacity as president of France and as president of the European Union."

Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda

Attending? Yes

Explanation: At a news conference with Bush, Fukuda said that "there are many aspiring athletes that will be going to Beijing, and I would like to cheer them on too. ... We are neighbors, after all, and it will good for Japan if our neighbors are in a sound state, as well. So with that in mind, as well, I shall attend the opening ceremony."

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown

Attending? No

Explanation: Brown said he would not attend the opening ceremonies, but maintained that the decision isn't meant to suggest that Britain is boycotting.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk

Attending? No

Explanation: The first EU leader to opt out, Tusk said that "the presence of politicians at the inauguration of the Olympics seems inappropriate."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Attending? No

Explanation: Her decision isn't meant to be a boycott. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who's also staying home, said he doesn't support a boycott of the opening ceremonies either: "A 'no' to the Olympics, to relieve our consciences, won't help the people in China nor the athletes."

Czech President Vaclav Klaus

Attending? No

Explanation: Like the Polish prime minister, Klaus was the rare leader who admitted that his decision was political. On his website he said, "Those who decided in the 1990s to award the Games to China cannot be surprised today that China is such as it is."

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Attending? No

Explanation: Harper also maintains that he's not boycotting, but said at a NATO summit, "I would continue to urge China to respect human rights and peaceful protests not just in Tibet but everywhere."

Copyright © 2015, CT Now
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