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Countries may not attend Nobel Prize cermony at Oslo due to China pressure

Due to Chinese pressure, at least 19 countries have declined to attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

Defying Chinese, 44 countries are going to attend, according to a revised guest list from the organisers 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.

Sixty-five countries with embassies or consulates in Norway were invited.

DECLINED: China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Colombia, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Serbia, Iraq, Iran, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Egypt, Sudan, Cuba, Morocco and Algeria.

NO REPLY: Sri Lanka

- Reuters Inputs

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