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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

UN chief urges China to continue Tibet dialogue

December 13, 2008

GENEVA 12 December 2008 (AFP) — United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday called on China to continue its dialogue with representatives of the Tibetan leader-in-exile the Dalai Lama.
 
"I hope the Chinese authorities will continue to resolve this issue through dialogue," Ban told journalists.
 
China said last month that talks on the future of Tibet had failed to make progress and insisted it would not compromise on the status of the Himalayan region.
 
"Our contacts and talks failed to make progress and they (the Dalai Lama's representatives) should assume full responsibility for it," said Zhu Weiqun, executive vice minister of the Communist Party's United Work Front Department.
 
But Ban said he hoped the dialogue would continue "in a sincere manner, so all the concerns concerning Tibet will be resolved smoothly and harmoniously."
 
In March, protests against Chinese rule in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, erupted into violence that spread to other areas of western China with Tibetan populations.
 
Tibet's government-in-exile said more than 200 Tibetans were killed in a subsequent Chinese crackdown.
 
Ban would not be drawn on the recent meeting between the Dalai Lama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy which has provoked a furious response from Beijing.
 
China is against any foreign leaders meeting with the Dalai Lama, whom it accuses of seeking independence for Tibet -- a claim the Nobel Peace Prize laureate denies, saying he wants meaningful autonomy for the Himalayan region.
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