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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."

French rights minister to meet Dalai Lama

August 21, 2008

AFP
August 19, 2008


PARIS (AFP) -- French human rights minister Rama Yade said Tuesday
she will meet with the Dalai Lama later this week in southern France
to show solidarity with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader's struggle.

The meeting is to take place on Friday following the inauguration of
a Buddhist temple near the town of Lodeve, Yade told AFP.

The Dalai Lama is expected to meet with French Foreign Minister
Bernard Kouchner and first lady Carla Bruni on Friday, also in
Lodeve, a diplomatic source said on Monday.

But President Nicolas Sarkozy has declined to hold talks with the
Tibetan spiritual leader, who is on a 12-day visit to France that has
stirred tensions with China.

Beijing, which accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking independence for
Tibet, had warned Sarkozy that meeting the Dalai Lama would have
"serious consequences" for bilateral relations.

"I will express my respect for the spiritual leader that he is, my
admiration for the man of peace that he is and my solidarity with the
courageous struggle that he has been waging for so many years," Yade told AFP.

Kouchner at the weekend cancelled a meeting with the Dalai Lama
originally scheduled for Wednesday due to the Georgian crisis.

The Budhhist leader accused China of pursuing a crackdown in Tibet
while it was hosting the Olympic Games during a private meeting with
members of the Senate on Wednesday, according to French lawmakers.

The Dalai Lama's visit to France ends on Tuesday.
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