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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

China furious over EU invite for Dalai Lama

April 3, 2008

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

BRUSSELS (EUX.TV) -- China has reacted with anger to the European
Union's plans to invite the Dalai Lama to Brussels. Slovenia, which
holds the rotating presidency, said that this invitation still has to be
discussed formally.

European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering last week said he had
already extended an invitation for the Dalai Lama. EU foreign ministers
at the weekend unanimously condemned recent crackdown on Tibet.

Speaking at the European Parliament on Tuesday, Slovenia's Foreign
Minister Dimitrij Rupel said that a plan to invite the Dalai Lama,
Tibet's spiritual leader, is feasible.

"It sounds like a do-able idea, but this has to be discussed," he said.
"To invite the Dalai Lama, certainly that would be a great honor, a
great event. The Dalai Lama is a very important religious leader."

China has voiced "strong dissatisfaction" after the EU foreign
ministers' statement issued at the weekend, according to Chinese media
reports.

"We oppose his separatist activities," Chinese Foreign Ministry
spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters on Tuesday, according to Deutsche
Welle radio. "We oppose any officials of foreign countries providing
support for the separatist activities by the Dalai Lama."

China claims the Dalai Lama's followers orchestrated the unrest that
broke out in the Himalayan region last month, when peaceful marches by
Tibetan monks turned violent. Exiled Tibetans currently put the death
toll from the Chinese crackdown at up to 140, with another 1000 injured
and many detained.

Beijing strongly opposes talks between the Dalai Lama and foreign
government officials and was angered by his meeting last September with
German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and British Foreign Minister
David Miliband proposed at the EU foreign ministers meeting last week
that the Dalai Lama should receive an official invitation.

-- From the EUX.TV newsroom news@eux.tv
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