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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

PM and Dalai Lama to discuss politics

May 14, 2008

From correspondents in London
Agence France-Presse
May 12, 2008 10:20pm

BRITISH Prime Minister Gordon Brown will meet the Dalai Lama in London this month to discuss recent unrest in Tibet.

A spokesman for Mr Brown said he would meet the exiled Tibetan principally for his role as a spiritual leader, and confirmed that the meeting would not take place at Brown's Downing Street office but at the official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the Church of England.

"The prime minister will be meeting the Dalai Lama on Friday the 23rd of May and, reflecting the fact that the Dalai Lama is a respected spiritual leader, the meeting will take place at Lambeth Palace,'' he said.

Asked if the pair would discuss politics, he said: "It will be an opportunity to discuss the recent situation in Tibet.''

Mr Brown said in March that he would meet the Dalai Lama when he visits Britain, angering China, which accuses the Buddhist cleric of masterminding protests against Beijing's rule in Tibet.

The announcement was welcomed by pro-Tibet campaigners, but risked souring relations with China, which Mr Brown visited in January to boost two-way trade and investment and cooperation in areas like tackling climate change.

Both of  Mr Brown's immediate predecessors, Tony Blair and John Major met the Dalai Lama in Downing Street.

Mr Brown said he believed Beijing saw London as its major partner in the West but admitted there were difficulties in the relationship.

Amid threats from other world leaders, including France, to boycott the Olympics in Beijing in August over China's crackdown in Tibet, Mr Brown has said he will attend the closing ceremony as London will host the 2012 Games.
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