GERMAN PRESIDENT WON’T GO TO SOCHI BUT DENIES BOYCOTT

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BERLIN: German President Joachim Gauck will not attend the Sochi Winter Olympics, his office said on Sunday, while rejecting media reports of a boycott over Russia’s rights record. News weekly Der Spiegel had reported that Gauck would snub the February 2014 Games to make a stand against Russia’s tough stance on civil rights and its treatment of the political opposition. Germany’s largely ceremonial head of state Gauck— who was a Christian pastor and rights activist in the former communist East Germany—has made no official visit to Russia since he took office in 2012.

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AFP

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