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Switzerland expects concrete results from Tibet-China talks: Report
Phayul[Friday, October 24, 2008 16:00]
Dharamsala, October 24: Swiss government has expressed hope that the ongoing discussions between Tibetan representatives and Chinese counterparts on Tibet issue would bring about concrete results, according to a report by Tibet Bureau, Geneva.

The Swiss Foreign Ministry, in its recent meeting with officials of the Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Geneva, said the preservation of the Tibetan religion, culture and language is a major concern of the Tibetan people, and expressed hope that it would be the subject of discussions with the prospect of concrete results.

Swiss government’s call for result-oriented talks on Tibet comes at a time when both sides are preparing to enter into the eighth round of talks, started since 2002, later this month.

“The new round of talks between the envoys of the spiritual head of the Tibetans and Chinese government officials, envisaged for October this year, meets with our full support,” the report quoted the Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey Calmy-Rey as saying during the meeting with Tibetan officials.

“In our view, the preservation of the Tibetan religion, culture and language is a major concern of the Tibetan people, and we now hope that it will be the subject of discussions with the prospect of concrete results,” Calmy-Rey said.

“Switzerland has been consistently insisting that for a peaceful and sustainable solution of the problems in Tibet it is inevitable to get into a dialogue with the Tibetan community and its representatives,” she added.

She also said the Swiss government had made it clear from the very beginning that a boycott of sports and cultural events is not a proper instrument of foreign policy, when petitioners and concerned citizens urged government officials to boycott of Beijing Olympics to show their criticism of China’s violent crackdown on Tibet.

Since returning from the seventh round of talks held earlier in July, Tibetan envoys have, at various avenues, repeatedly reiterated their calls on the Chinese government to participate in bilateral talks with a sincere desire to reach a solution, raising doubts on the failing diplomatic efforts in the ongoing dialogue process.

Finding restrained responsiveness from Chinese Communist Party representatives, Lodi G. Gyari, the Special Envoy of the Dalai Lama, expressed concern over whether the ongoing discussions would lead to an equitable solution.

“In the absence of serious and sincere commitment on [the Chinese] part, the continuation of the present dialogue process would serve no purpose,” he was reportedly quoted as saying.

Speaking in London around the same time, envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen, another lead negotiator for the Tibetan delegation, said Beijing was only taking part to "deflect international criticism".

The Dalai Lama has called a ‘special meeting’ of ‘all Tibetan exile groups for next month to discuss the progress of the talks and the situation inside Tibet’.

Gyaltsen said the Tibetan leader did this in response to the "lack of any signs of progress in the dialogue process" and the worsening state of affairs within Tibet following the widespread anti-China protests across the region.
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