sharing the Olympic spirit

Rogge hopes relay proceeds smoothly
(China Daily - Xinhua)
Updated: 2008-04-10 06:44


International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge Wednesday expressed the hope that the progress of the Olympic torch relay is safe and smooth.

In a meeting with Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing, their first since 2006, Rogge said excellent work had been done by the Games organizers.

The IOC chief reiterated that it was the right decision in 2001 to award the Games to Beijing.

On Tuesday, Rogge expressed "deep concern" over the violent nature of the protests in London and Paris during the torch relay.

"We recognize the right of people to protest and express their views, but it should be non-violent. We are very sad for all the athletes and the people who expected so much from the run " Rogge said.

He expressed belief that the Chinese government will solve the problems that have cropped up recently.

Wen expressed gratitude to the IOC and Rogge for their support to the preparations for the Games, and admiration for the contribution he has made to the development of the Olympic Movement and the enhancement of mutual understanding and peace among people from different countries and regions.

Wen said the Beijing Games would be a great event for people from all over the world.

He added that the Olympic flame is a symbol of peace, friendship and progress, representing the common pursuits and wishes of mankind for a bright future.

"We believe that the Olympic flame, which belongs to all mankind, should never be extinguished."

Wen said that the Chinese government and the 1.3 billion Chinese people would work hard to prepare for the Games, and make sure that a memorable Games is staged. 

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