Expatica news

Dalai Lama visit rescheduled

8 February 2005

BRUSSELS – The official visit of the Dalai Lama to Belgium has been rescheduled for 2006 but no exact date has been set.

The visit should have taken place this June but was cancelled at the weekend in controversial circumstances.

The June date coincided with a visit of the Belgian royal family to China, prompting speculation that the government was trying to avoid a diplomatic embarrassment.

Foreign minister Karel de Gucht denied on Monday that the government had cancelled the visit, saying that the Dalai Lama had decided independently to postpone it.

De Gucht stressed the Belgian government remained fully committed to promoting human rights, but the cancellation still sparked angry protests from the Dalai Lama’s supporters in Belgium.

Next year’s visit will be the third the Tibetan spiritual leader has made to Belgium.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news