EU says Sarkozy should meet with Dalai Lama

11th July 2008, Comments 0 comments

EU External Relations Commissioner said she is in favour of a meeting between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the Dalai Lama.

11 July 2008

BRUSSELS - EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said Friday she was in favour of a meeting between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the Dalai Lama.

"Dalai Lama is for all of us a spiritual leader so why should he not meet with the Dalai Lama?" she said at a conference at Brussels think-tank the European Policy Centre.

"I think it depends on the circumstances and the way it is being done and I think it is also fair to inform our Chinese friends. It's the fair way to do so," she added.

Tensions between Paris and Beijing have soared on the possibility the French leader might meet the Dalai Lama during a visit to France in August, even though Sarkozy has said he will attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in China.

On Tuesday, Chinese Ambassador Kong Quan warned of "serious consequences" to Sino-French relations if Sarkozy met the exiled Tibetan leader.

Sarkozy, whose country holds the European Union's presidency, rejected Chinese pressure, saying it was not up to Beijing to set his agenda.

"It's not up to China to set my agenda and my meetings," he said, but did not confirm whether he would meet the Dalai Lama during his 12-23 August visit to France.

[AFP / Expatica]

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