US asks China to open up Tibet and have dialogue with Dalai Lama

April 22nd, 2008 - 11:46 am ICT by admin  

By Arun Kumar
Washington, April 22 (IANS) The US has reiterated its call for a substantive dialogue between the Dalai Lama and China’s leaders, while stressing the need for China to permit journalists and others reasonable access to all Tibetan areas. The renewed call was made at a meeting Monday between the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader and the US special envoy for Tibet, Paula Dobriansky, at the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor.

“This meeting is part of our ongoing efforts to promote dialogue between the Dalai Lama and Chinese leaders,” the State Department stated after the meeting. Dobriansky “reiterated our long-standing support for substantive dialogue between the Dalai Lama and China’s leaders,” it said.

“This is not a new message, but rather one we have consistently delivered to all sides long before the current situation in Tibet, and one we will continue to deliver to our interlocutors at all levels.”

Dobriansky and the Dalai Lama also discussed the current situation in Tibet and the need for China to permit journalists and others reasonable access to all Tibetan areas, the State Department said.

“We’ve long held that that kind of dialogue is the best way to resolve the longstanding issues with respect to Tibet. And of course, that includes trying to help deal with the consequences of some of the recent violence there,” spokesman Tom Casey told reporters earlier.

Washington, he said, wanted to hear from the Dalai Lama about his ideas and what he believes might be the next appropriate steps in this. “We are certainly going to, of course, also continue to have discussions with the Government of China about this.”

“Both in our public statements as well as in our private discussions with Chinese officials we’ve strongly encouraged them to reach out to the Dalai Lama and to his representatives to be able to have the kind of dialogue that would reduce tensions and help lead to a resolution of some of these differences,” Casey said.

Meanwhile, media reports from Ann Arbor said the Dalai Lama told Dobriansky he appreciated US concern with China’s handling of the political unrest in Tibet and said “we need your help.”

The administration “has expressed its concern about the situation in Tibet and has urged restraint,” Dobriansky said.

President George W. Bush “has been a steadfast supporter of the need for dialogue between his holiness and Chinese leaders … we see a dialogue as an important means and way to go forward, ” she said

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