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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Dalai Lama to address EU parliament next month

November 17, 2008

EU Business
November 14, 2008

BRUSSELS -- Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, will address the European Parliament next month, an assembly spokesman said Friday.

The Dalai Lama was invited to talk at the parliament several months ago as part of the European year of intercultural dialogue, and his visit to Brussels has been confirmed for December 4.

Two days later, the Nobel peace prize winner will meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose country holds the EU rotating presidency, at a ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of the awarding of the prestigious peace prize to Lech Walesa, the iconic former leader of Poland's Solidarity trade union.

The announcement of the meeting between Sarkozy and the Dalai Lama has angered China which warned Sarkozy on Friday that it could hurt relations between the two countries.

"Currently relations between China and France, and Europe and China, are in the process of improving and developing, and this situation is the result of hard work. So we should cherish it," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

The Dalai Lama has sought "meaningful autonomy" for Tibet since he fled his homeland following a failed uprising in 1959 against Chinese rule, nine years after Chinese troops invaded the region.

China claims he actually seeks full independence.
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