Human Rights

French President Macron: Diplomatic Olympic boycotts ‘insignificant and symbolic’

French President Emmanuel Macron has confirmed that France will not be joining in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, calling the move by other nations including the U.S. “symbolic” and “insignificant,” reports the BBC

“I don’t think we should politicize these topics, especially if it’s to take steps that are insignificant and symbolic,” Macron said on Friday. 

Macron has also said that he does not believe that the Olympics ought to be politicized and that he wanted action to be taken that had a “useful effect,” according to the BBC.

“To be clear: You either have a complete boycott, and don’t send athletes, or you try to change things with useful actions,” Macron added.

The French president did state that France would stand alongside the International Olympic Committee to protect athletes, which is believed to be a nod towards the disappearance and treatment of athlete, Peng Shuai.

On Thursday, French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer also said that France would not be joining other Western nations in a diplomatic boycott of Beijing’s Olympics. 

“Sports is a world in itself, which must be protected from political interference,” said Blanquer as he discussed France’s rationale for not joining its allies in boycott. 

The United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Lithuania have all said they will be instating a diplomatic boycott of Beijing’s 2022 games. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki has said that countries must make their own decisions on whether to diplomatically boycott the Olympics and that the White House would not be pressuring other countries to join the United States in doing so. 

France is scheduled to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris.

Tags 2022 Beijing Olympics BBC News Beijing Boycott Emmanuel Macron France International Olympic Committee Jen Psaki Olympics Paris Winter Olympics

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