President of Iceland to attend Beijing Olympics

2008-07-25 02:00:26 GMT       2008-07-25 10:00:26 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

STOCKHOLM, July 24 (Xinhua) -- Icelandic President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson will attend the Beijing Olympic Games next month, according to reports reaching here Thursday from Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland.

Grimsson said it was not difficult for him to reach a decision on whether or not to attend the Games, as sports is an important way for countries to enhance understanding and increase exchanges, local media reported.

Countries will strengthen communication by participating in the Games, which will also give them an opportunity to have a better understanding of the host country, Grimsson said.

He said Chinese President Hu Jintao had formally invited him to attend the event during the Icelandic leader's visit to China two years ago.

"Through years of contact with Chinese officials, I have understood the role that the Olympic Games and sports play as a platform for communication and exchanges between different countries," he added.

Grimsson also pointed out that the best way for countries to enhance mutual understanding is to actively conduct international negotiations, adding that hostility and criticism serve no purpose.

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