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US hints at joint engagement with EU over Tibet
Phayul[Thursday, December 13, 2012 15:19]
DHARAMSHALA, December 13: In what could be seen as a further push for establishing an international mechanism on the crisis in Tibet, US cited Tibet as an area where the EU and US can partner on “common strategic engagement.”

The remarks were made by US Under Secretary Maria Otero in her statement at the European Union's Human Rights Day Event in Washington DC on Tuesday.

Delivering the statement on behalf of Otero, Deputy Assistant Secretary Daniel Baer said the Obama Administration wants Europe to engage more in Asia along with the US, “to see the region not only as a market, but as a focus of common strategic engagement.”

“And as a good example, European governments, including Germany, UK, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and Poland, have joined the call for Chinese authorities to address the worsening human rights conditions in Tibetan areas,” Baer said. “The United States is deeply concerned and saddened by the continuing violence in Tibetan areas of China and the increasing frequency of self-immolations by Tibetans.”

Otero, who is also the US Special Coordinator for Tibet, noted that Chinese authorities have responded to these tragic incidents with measures that tighten already strict controls on the freedoms of religion, expression, assembly and association of Tibetans.

“Official rhetoric that denigrates the Tibetan language, the Dalai Lama, and those that have self-immolated has further exacerbated tensions.”

Last month, France called for the promotion of policy coordination in the EU for “coherent actions” to support the Tibetan cause and advancing human rights and freedoms of Tibetans.

The upper house of the French Parliament, Sénat, on November 27, adopted a resolution in view of the deteriorating human rights situation inside Tibet and called on the EU to give priority to Tibet issue within the mandate of its recently appointed EU Special Representative for Human Rights.

The Sénat resolution requested the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to entrust the Special Representative of the Union for Human Rights Tibet issue as a priority, with a mandate to promote policy coordination on Tibet in the EU.

The resolution further called for “coherent actions to advance human rights and freedoms of Tibetans, including their right to preserve their own identity, in its religious, cultural and linguistic.”

EU was this year awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its “stabilising part played in helping to transform most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace."
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