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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."

Dutch foreign minister meets Dalai Lama

June 8, 2009 (Pressemitteilung) - Wien, Austria

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - The Dalai Lama has met Dutch Foreign Minister
Maxime Verhagen along with other religious leaders to discuss human rights
and interfaith harmony.

The meeting at a Catholic church in The Hague was held despite a warning
from China that government contact with the Tibetan leader could hurt Dutch
relations with Beijing.

Although other European leaders have met the Dalai Lama, incurring China's
displeasure, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende declined to see him.
Verhagen said the Dutch government regards the Dalai Lama as a spiritual
leader, not the head of a Tibetan independence movement.

Friday's meeting came on the last day of the Dalai Lama's three-day visit to
the Netherlands.
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