El primer ministro de Canadá, Stephen Harper -de signo conservador-, no participará de la inauguración de los Juegos Olímpicos en Beijing.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has called on China to respect human rights but suggested it is premature to think of boycotting the 2008 Olympics opening ceremonies -- though he said he has no plans to personally attend the event.
Harper was speaking to reporters in Bucharest, Romania where a key NATO summit is taking place.
At the same news conference, Harper announced his goal of convincing other members to ante-up 1,000 troops, as well as equipment, had beenachieved and Canada would be extending its military role beyond the February 2009 deadline.
Harper said Canada would be sending high-ranking representatives to the opening ceremonies. He suggested the world is watching China's behaviourclosely.
"I would continue to urge China to respect human rights and peaceful protest, not just in Tibet but everywhere," Harper said.
"And I would also encourage the government of China to understand that its growing wealth, its growing profile in the world and of course theprofile of the Olympics will put a greater and greater spotlight on its record in this regard."
International concerns about China's handling of recent unrest in Tibet will only escalate if things don't change, Harper said.
"My strong advice would be to take these concerns seriously because I think they are likely to grow rather than diminish if we see a repetition of the current pattern," Harper said.