Top EU and US politicians urge China to talk to Dalai Lama

1st July 2015

Stalled negotiations on future of Tibet should resume

In separate recent moves, the President of the Council of the European Union and a group of US Congressmen have called on China to enter into dialogue with representatives of the Tibetan people regarding Tibet.

EU presses for Tibet talks

Addressing a press conference this week following a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Brussels, President Donald Tusk said that he had

"expressed our concerns on freedom of expression and association in China including people belonging to minorities including Tibetan and Uighur...In that context, I have urged China to restart a meaningful dialogue with the Dalai Lama's representatives."

The meeting took place as part of a summit between the EU and China. Mr Tusk also announced that the EU's Special Representative on Human Rights would visit China later this year. The EU's representrative is one of the very few international diplomats allowed any access to Tibet in recent years, although his visit in 2013 was tightly controlled and stage-managed. It is not yet known whether he will visit Tibet this year.

US Congressmen praise the Dalai Lama

A motion has been introduced to the US Congress offering praise to the Dalai Lama on the occasion of his imminent 80th birthday and urging China to resume talks with his representatives. China refuses to recognise the legitimacy of the Central Tibetan Administration - the democratically elected government-in-exile of Tibet - and to negotiate with it.

Representatives of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government have held a number of rounds of talks regarding Tibet. After discussions stalled again in 2010, the Dalai Lama 's representatives resigned, expressing their "utter frustration over the lack of positive response from the Chinese side". None have taken place since. The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, formerly the political leader of Tibet and is revered by Tibetans.

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