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Winner of the Miss Himalaya Pageant 2018 Ritika Sharma, First Runner-up Palak Sharma and Second-Runner-up Ashima Sharma wave to the audience during the Miss Himalaya Pageant 2018 in McLeod Ganj, India, on 6 October 2018, Photo: L. Wangyal
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US, Europe to hail China talks with Dalai Lama
AFP[Tuesday, June 10, 2008 09:57]
LJUBLJANA (Slovenia) - THE United States and the European Union will call on China Tuesday to have 'results-orientated' talks on Tibet with the Dalai Lama's representatives, according to a draft joint declaration obtained on Monday.

'We welcome China's recent decision to hold talks with the Dalai Lama's representatives. We encourage both parties to move forward with a substantive, constructive and results-orientated dialogue at an early stage,' it said.

The declaration, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, was to be released after US President George W. Bush and European Union leaders hold an annual summit near Slovenia's capital Ljubljana.

'We are concerned about the recent unrest in Tibet and urge all sides to refrain from further violence,' the declaration says.

Spurred by international pressure over seven weeks of deadly unrest in Tibet, Chinese officials met the Dalai Lama's envoys in early May for a day of talks which led to an agreement to restart formal discussions that broke off last year.

A seventh round of long-running talks between China and Tibet scheduled for June 11 has been postponed as Beijing focuses on earthquake relief efforts, an aide to the Dalai Lama said last week.

'We are trying to work out fresh dates in June,' said Tenzin Taklha, deputy secretary to the Tibetan spiritual leader, confirming discussions had earlier been set for next week.

'This was before the earthquake. A lot of efforts are now going towards that.'

China has been battling to provide relief to victims of a massive earthquake in Sichuan province on May 12 that killed over 69,000 people and left millions homeless.

Deadly riots broke out on March 14 in Lhasa after earlier peaceful protests to mark the anniversary of a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule.

Beijing says it acted with restraint to quell the Tibetan 'rioters' and 'insurgents,' charging them with killing 21 people in the unrest, which spread to other parts of western China with Tibetan populations.

The Tibetan government-in-exile says 203 Tibetans were killed and about 1,000 hurt in China's crackdown.
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