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Rediff.com  » Movies » Spielberg meets UN to discuss 2008 Olympics

Spielberg meets UN to discuss 2008 Olympics

April 16, 2008 14:19 IST

Barely two months ago, Oscar-winning film director Steven Spielberg withdrew as artistic adviser to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing over China's policy on the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region.

On Tuesday, the director was seen in a relaxed mood after a 45-minute meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon at the UN Headquarters.

The meeting was called upon to discuss the Dafur situation.

On February 12, Spielberg withdrew from the Olympics citing that 'My conscience will not allow me to continue business as usual.'

The statement was issued a day when Nobel Peace laureates sent a letter to China's president urging a change in policies toward its ally Sudan.

'At this point, my time and energy must be spent not on Olympic ceremonies, but on doing all I can to help bring an end to the unspeakable crimes against humanity that continue to be committed in Darfur,' Reuters quoted  the filmmaker as saying.

The letter, which was sent by Nobel Peace Prize laureates including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Elie Wiesel and Jody Williams, urged China to uphold Olympic ideals by pressing Sudan to stop atrocities in Darfur.

China is a leading oil customer and supplier of weapons to Sudan and is accused by critics of providing diplomatic cover for Khartoum, as it stonewalls international efforts to send peacekeepers into Darfur.

In the picture: Steven Spielberg poses with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, at the United Nations Headquarters on Tuesday. Photograph: Jay Mandal