OSLO (Reuters) - At least 19 countries have declined to attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo on Friday while 44 will attend despite Chinese pressure for them to stay away, according to a revised guest list from the organizers and officials.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee’s secretary, Geir Lundestad, said on Thursday that since an earlier tally Algeria had decided not to come but Ukraine had changed its earlier position and decided to participate.
He also said the Philippines would attend but officials in Manila said on Friday that was not right and the Philippine ambassador to Norway could not attend because of “scheduling problems.”
Argentina’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying it would be represented, countering earlier reports from Oslo it probably would not.
Embassies that declined were not asked why, and most of those contacted by Reuters declined to comment or said their representatives had other plans.
Those accepting were not formally listed, but they include most European countries, the United States, India, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and South Africa.
Sixty-five countries with embassies or consulates in Norway were invited.
China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Colombia, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Serbia, Iraq, Iran, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Egypt, Sudan, Cuba, Morocco and Algeria.
NO REPLY: Sri Lanka
Additional reporting by Manila bureau; Editing by Robert Birsel