Germany calls on China to talk to Dalai Lama over Tibet
AFP · 15 Mar 2008, 13:37
Published: 15 Mar 2008 13:37 GMT+01:00
- Germany calls for calm in Tibet (14 Mar 08)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman urged both Chinese and Tibetans to exercise restraint after deadly protests against Chinese rule in the Himalayan territory prompted international condemnation of Beijing's crackdown.
"Violence, irrespective which side it comes from, will not lead to solutions to the outstanding issues,” German government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said in a statement.
Merkel's meeting with the Dalai Lama last year strained Germany’s relations with China, but Berlin on Saturday called on the Chinese government to engage in direct talks with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader. "A lasting solution to the Tibet question can perhaps only be found through a peaceful and direct dialogue between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama," Wilhelm said.
It was "important that demonstrators, like the police forces, be urged to show moderation and the rights of each be taken into consideration," he added. Germany backed the Tibetans' rights to religious and cultural autonomy," while "supporting the policy of a single China," he added.
The Tibetan government-in-exile on Saturday called on the United Nations to intervene to end what it called "urgent human rights violations in Tibet." It said it had unconfirmed reports that 100 people had been killed in the unrest.