Exile Tibetan leaders the Dalai Lama, is welcomed by Belgium's Senate President Armand De Decker (L), Finance Minister Didier Reynders (2nd L), Lower house President Herman Van Rompuy (2nd R) and Parliamentarian Corinne De Permentier (R) at the Parliament in Brussels December 4, 2008. Dalai Lama Friday ended his two-day visit to Belgium and arrived in Poland. (Photo: Reuters)
Dharamsala, December 5: The exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived in Poland Friday for an eight-day tour.
"I'm very happy to be in the city where the historic Solidarity movement was born and where my friend Lech Walesa began his activities", the Dalai Lama was quoted as saying by AFP as he arrived at the airport in the Baltic port of Gdansk.
The Tibetan leader was welcomed by the city's mayor, Pawel Adamowicz.
The revered Tibetan leader and winner of 1989 Nobel Peace Prize and other Nobel Peace laureates were invited to Gdansk to celebrate the 25 years since Poland's Lech Walesa won the award for leading Poland's Solidarity movement in a peaceful struggle against the then communist regime.
Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama, former Polish President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Walesa (L) and fellow laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel (R) greet each other in Gdansk, Poland, Friday, Dec. 5, 2008. Walesa is hosting a handful of Nobel Peace Prize laureates to mark the 25th anniversary of his Nobel Peace Prize win. (Photo: AP)
During the visit, the Tibetan leader will meet visiting French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The Dalai Lama’s high-profile Europe tour and Sarkozy’s scheduled meeting with him has upset China.
In protest, China decided to walk away from a long-planned annual summit with EU which had been scheduled for December 1 in France and warned France of serious consequences in trade and bilateral relations.
But Sarkozy, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the 27-nation European Union, has insisted he will meet the Dalai Lama in Poland on Saturday.