Peres to get hotel in Olympic village so he can keep the Sabbath
The Chinese government has agreed as a goodwill gesture to house President Shimon Peres in a hotel within the Olympic complex so he will not desecrate the Sabbath when he attends the games' opening ceremony on Friday, August 8.
The Chinese government, which has invited Peres to the ceremony, said that in contrast to other heads of state, Peres will be staying in accommodations just 200 meters from the stadium.
The President's Residence on Wednesday informed the Chinese Olympic Committee that the President Shimon Peres would be attending the ceremony, which will also be attended by other world leaders.
Staff members of the President's Residence, the Foreign Ministry and the Israeli Olympic Committee have been working with the Chinese Embassy on the details of Peres' visit to Beijing.
The Israeli Embassy in Beijing sent a communique to the President's Residence stating that the Chinese government views Peres' presence at the opening ceremony as very important "because he is the honorary president of the Israel-China Friendship Society and one of the architects of relations between the two countries."
Chinese President Hu Jintao has invited several world leaders to the opening ceremony and will reportedly be holding an international conference at the same time as the games.