Brown meets Dalai Lama at ‘neutral’ venue in London

May 23rd, 2008 - 9:01 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Gordon Brown
London, May 23 (DPA) British Prime Minister Gordon Brown Friday held private talks in London with the Dalai Lama, who has criticized Britain and other Western nations for “not doing enough” to support Tibet. The meeting, the highlight of the Dalai Lama’s 10-day tour of Britain, took place at the London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, rather than in Downing Street, the seat of government.

Brown’s aides have said the choice of venue was to underline the predominantly “spiritual” - as opposed to “political” - nature of the visit, but critics have accused him of “kowtowing” to Beijing.

Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama made it clear that to him, the venue does not matter. “For me - no differences…I always meet on the level we are human beings.”

A handful of demonstrators gathered outside Lambeth Palace, where the meeting was held, to show their support - and opposition - to the teachings and policies of the Dalai Lama.

Brown, who has been keen to forge closer economic ties with Beijing, said in March that he was “unhappy” about the Chinese clampdown on demonstrators in Tibet, but has otherwise been careful not to offend the Chinese leadership.

Speaking Thursday, the Dalai Lama said he realized that there were “limitations” as to what the west, including the European Union and the US, could achieve vis-a-vis China over the Tibet issue.

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