Source Pravda.Ru

Colin Powell changed his plans

Secretary of State Colin Powell abruptly canceled plans to attend the Olympics closing ceremonies in Athens Sunday in part because of events in Iraq and Sudan, the State Department said. U.S. officials denied Powell changed plans because of protests against U.S. foreign policy that were dispersed when police hurled tear gas Friday at about 1,000 demonstrators headed in the direction of the U.S. Embassy in Athens. Saturday Greek activists hoisted a massive banner saying "Powell Killer Go Home" on the Acropolis hillside towering over Athens to protest against his planned 24-hour visit. "Secretary of State Colin Powell informed Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis that due to the press of business in Washington the secretary would not be able to travel to Athens to attend the closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said in a statement, informs Reuters. Boucher said Powell called Molyviatis Friday and "expressed his congratulations to the government and people of Greece for hosting a spectacular, safe and successful Olympics." According to Scotsman, secretary of State Colin Powell abruptly canceled plans to attend the Olympics closing ceremonies in Athens Sunday in part because of events in Iraq and Sudan, the State Department said. U.S. officials denied Powell changed plans because of protests against U.S. foreign policy that were dispersed when police hurled tear gas Friday at about 1,000 demonstrators headed in the direction of the U.S. Embassy in Athens. Saturday Greek activists hoisted a massive banner saying "Powell Killer Go Home" on the Acropolis hillside towering over Athens to protest against his planned 24-hour visit. "Secretary of State Colin Powell informed Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis that due to the press of business in Washington the secretary would not be able to travel to Athens to attend the closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said in a statement. Boucher said Powell called Molyviatis Friday and "expressed his congratulations to the government and people of Greece for hosting a spectacular, safe and successful Olympics." A greek demonstrator puts fire on a banner reading in Greek "Powell out", 27 August 2004 in front of the parliament, central of Athens. Nearly 700 demonstrators rallied to protest at the arrival of US Secretary of State Colin Powell, who is due to attend the Olympic Games' closing ceremony at the weekend. The demonstrators had planned to march from central Athens to the US embassy but had their path blocked by police who fired tear gas, reports Xinhuanet US Secretary of State Colin Powell has canceled his planned visit to Athens to attend the Olympic Games closing ceremony because of the "press of business" in Washington, the State Department said on Saturday. "Secretary of State Colin Powell informed Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis that due to the press of business in Washington, the secretary would not be able to travel to Athens toattend the closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said in a statement. Meanwhile, the Greek Foreign Ministry said Powell thanked Moliviatis in a letter "for the especially successful and secure organization of the games." On Friday, Greek anti-war organizations and trade unions stageda big demonstration in downtown Athens to protest Powell's planned visit.

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