Germany asks China to reveal details of Tibet protests

March 25th, 2008 - 11:22 pm ICT by admin  

DPA
Berlin, March 25 (DPA) Germany Tuesday called on China to reveal what had actually happened in the recent violence in Tibet. A spokesman also said Chancellor Angela Merkel was “open” to a fresh meeting with the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

“In our view, the Chinese government would be very well advised if whatever happened were to be explained and made visible,” Thomas Steg, deputy government spokesman, told reporters. “China has to establish transparency.”

He said it was also indispensable for foreign observers and the world media to be again allowed access to Tibet.

Merkel had made it clear “that she was absolutely willing to meet again with the Dalai Lama on an appropriate occasion, speak to him and discuss current topics,” said Steg.

Beijing protested angrily when Merkel received the Dalai Lama, who lives in India, last year in her Berlin office.

However Steg said Merkel would not be in Germany at the time of the spiritual leader’s scheduled spring visit to the country.

He repeated Berlin’s scepticism towards calls for a boycott of this summer’s Beijing Olympic Games in protest at the Tibet crackdown. Steg said calls for a boycott tended to “distract from the need to move towards a political solution to the conflict.”

“We regard it as indispensable that both sides, the Dalai Lama and the government in Beijing, close their gap,” he said, adding that there was no alternative in Germany’s view to negotiations.

“We’ll keep using our means in this direction,” he said, adding that German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was set to telephone Tuesday afternoon with his Chinese counterpart.
DPA

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