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Merkel asks China to push for success in Tibet talks

July 10, 2008

The Local (Germany)
July 8, 2008

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday asked Chinese President
Hu Jintao to push for a successful outcome to talks between China and
Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

"The chancellor said she hoped the dialogue between representatives
of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government will develop in a
successful way," said a statement from Merkel's office issued in
Japan after the leaders met.

The Chinese government and representatives of the Dalai Lama last
week finished a fresh round of talks on the status of Tibet, but an
envoy of the spiritual leader said that no headway had been made.

China had previously held talks with Dalai Lama representatives on
Tibet's future, but they broke off last year.

Beijing restarted the dialogue recently as world criticism
intensified over its massive crackdown on deadly anti-Chinese riots
that engulfed the Tibetan capital Lhasa on March 14 and spread across
the Tibetan plateau.

Merkel, in Japan for the Group of Eight summit, also wished Hu good
luck for hosting the Olympic Games in Berlin next month.

The meeting came less than a month after China's foreign minister
said relations between China and Germany were back to normal after
ties between the two soured when the German chancellor met with the Dalai Lama.

China believes the Dalai Lama is trying to achieve independence for
his Himalayan homeland despite his repeated statements to the
contrary, and regularly denounces politicians from other countries
when they meet him.

AFP (news@thelocal.de)
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