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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

EU urges China to show restraint in Tibet

March 15, 2008

BRUSSELS, Mar 14 (Reuters) - European Union leaders urged China on
Friday to show restraint in Tibet following an outbreak of violence in
Lhasa during pro-independence demonstrations, French Foreign Minister
Bernard Kouchner said.

"We asked for restraint on the part of the Chinese authorities. We
asked for human rights to be respected. There is strong condemnation,
coming from all the European Council and the 27 countries," Kouchner
told reporters.

However, the EU's Slovenian presidency said the 27-nation bloc had not
yet agreed on a joint declaration, although a presidency statement --
which carries less political weight than summit conclusions -- might
be issued in the next three days.

Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel said consultations were
under way on a statement that would "urge the Chinese government to
address the concerns of Tibetans with regard to issues of human
rights" and call for dialogue between Beijing and Tibetan

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana ridiculed any idea that the
Europeans might boycott the Beijing Olympic Games over the Tibet
issue, saying he planned to be there.

Peaceful marches by Buddhist monks in recent days have given way to
the biggest and angriest demonstrations in Tibet in nearly two
decades, just months before the Olympics.

Protesters burned shops and vehicles on Friday and chanted
pro-independence slogans, prompting the Dalai Lama to urge Beijing to
stop "brute force".

Speaking at the end of a two-day EU summit in Brussels, British Prime
Minister Gordon Brown said: "We are very concerned about what's
happening in Tibet."

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the EU needed to
make sure of the facts before taking a position.

"We say there is a need for clarity about developments on the ground.
We know there have been peaceful demonstrations," he told a news

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband added: "There are probably
two important messages to go out -- one is the need for restraint on
all sides and secondly that substantive dialogue is the only way

Kouchner said China should think about the Olympics when considering
how to handle Tibet.

"France is not supportive of a boycott but France could draw attention
to the concomitance between the Olympic Games and the Tibetan hopes
that China must take into account," he said.

The EU presidency issues dozens of statements every week on issues
ranging from the future of East Timor to the conduct of elections in
Armenia or tension between Colombia and Venezuela.
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