French president will not attend Sochi Games: minister

Reuters
French President Hollande speaks at the town hall in Remire-Montjoly
.

View photo

French President Francois Hollande speaks at the town hall in Remire-Montjoly December 13, 2013. REUTERS/Ronan …

PARIS (Reuters) - Neither President Francois Hollande nor any top French official will attend the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia's Sochi, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Sunday.

Fabius offered no explanation for the move.

The decision to hold the Winter Olympics in Russia has been criticized in France due to concerns about human rights abuses and a law passed in June that bans "gay propaganda" which critics say discriminates against homosexuals.

"There are no plans to attend," Fabius told Europe 1 radio, referring to Hollande and himself. "Top French officials have no plans to be there."

German President Joachim Gauck's office announced last week that he would not be attending the Games and the government's human rights commissioner praised Gauck's decision as a "wonderful gesture".

(Reporting By Nicholas Vinocur; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

View Comments