China urges France to respect its Tibet concerns

August 20th, 2008 - 7:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 20 (Xinhua) China Wednesday urged France to respect its concerns over the Tibet issue ahead of a meeting between the French foreign minister and Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama Friday. “We hope France would prudently handle sensitive issues (related to Tibet),” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a press conference here Wednesday.

Qin said the Chinese government’s policy on Tibet is clear and consistent. He hoped both countries would work for close ties.

Dalai Lama is on a 12-day visit to France during which he is expected to meet French lawmakers.

No official reception was planned, but the Dalai Lama would meet privately with members from the Franco-Tibetan interest group, officials said.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy was not due to meet the Dalai Lama. While French media have been speculating over the politically sensitive nature of such a meeting, the Elysee Palace indicated that the Dalai Lama had not yet asked for a meeting with Sarkozy.

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