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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

US President to Discuss Tibet with Hu Jintao

November 24, 2008
November 22, 2008

Dharamshala -- The United States President George W Bush will discuss
human rights issues in Tibet and the ongoing discussions between the
envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Chinese leadership
during his meeting with Chinese president Hu Jintao in Peru.

President Bush is heading to Lima on Friday to attend Asia-Pacific
Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit scheduled on 22 and 23 November.

"The president will discuss issues of human rights and religious
freedom, including the ongoing dialogue between Beijing and the Dalai
Lama" on the spiritual leader's homeland of Tibet, said White House
spokesman Gordon Johndroe.

President Bush, political leaders and the people of America have been
steadfast in raising their voice in the call for religious liberty
and basic human rights for the people of Tibet.

"Americans cannot look to the plight of the religiously oppressed and
close our eyes or turn away. And that is why I will continue to urge
the leaders of China to welcome the Dalai Lama to China. They will
find this good man to be a man of peace and reconciliation," Bush
said while honouring His Holiness the Dalai Lama with the US
Congressional Gold medal on 17 October last year.

"Throughout our history, we have stood proudly with those who offer a
message of hope and freedom to the world's downtrodden and oppressed.
This is why all of us are drawn to a noble and spiritual leader who
lives a world away. Today we honor him as a universal symbol of peace
and tolerance, a shepherd for the faithful, and the keeper of the
flame for his people," he said.

In his talks with Hu, Bush also expects to discuss Iran's suspect
nuclear program, turmoil in Zimbabwe and Sudan, pressure on Burma's
military rulers to enact democratic reforms, and Beijing's uneven
rights record, said Johndroe.

Bush's top goal was for some of the 21 APEC members to sign on to the
Group of 20's statement of principles for tackling the worldwide
economic crisis, as approved in November 14-15 talks in Washington, a
top aide said.

APEC comprises of the US, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China,
Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New
Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea,
Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

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