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Tibetans open to talks with China

November 18, 2009

November 17, 2009

DHARAMSALA, India -- The Dalai Lama's office said
Tuesday the Tibetan leader was ready for the
resumption of talks with China as suggested by US
President Barack Obama during his trip to Beijing.

"We are always willing to have talks with China
and we hope both sides -- the Chinese as well as
the Tibetans -- are true to their intentions,"
Chime Chhoekyapa, spokesman of the exiled Tibetan leader, told AFP.

He acknowledged that more radical Tibetan groups
were against talking, but said the Dalai Lama was
committed to dialogue in his quest for
"meaningful autonomy" for Tibet from China.

In Beijing, Obama said the United States
recognised Tibet as part of China, but that
Washington "supports the early resumption of
dialogue" between the Dalai Lama's envoys and Beijing.

Following foreign pressure, two envoys of the
Buddhist monk met Chinese officials in July last
year for the seventh round of a dialogue process that was started in 2002.

The July talks in Beijing followed an informal
meeting in May last year, also in China.

China in March this year said it was open to
fresh discussions over Tibet with the Dalai Lama
but repeated demands for him to renounce
"separatist" activities, which the spiritual leader already denies.

"His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said we are not
seeking separation or independence" from Chinese
rule, Chhoekyapa added, speaking by phone from Dharamshala in northern India.

The Dalai Lama has been living in India since he
fled Tibet following a failed uprising in 1959
against Chinese rule, nine years after Chinese troops invaded the region.
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