Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-03-26-Speech-3-064"
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"The next item is the Council and Commission statements on the situation in Tibet. However, I hope you will agree that in light of recent events in Tibet, the Dalai Lama is welcome here in the European Parliament at any time. Dialogue and cooperation between the European Union and China are in our mutual interests. China is a great nation and we wish to cooperate with China on the basis of partnership. In a few months' time, China will host the Olympic Games. We want these Games to be a success. However, there are certain preconditions for this: respect for the cultural and religious identity of the Tibetan people, and free and fair reporting before and during the games. The fact that journalists and correspondents have been expelled from Tibet must therefore be condemned. As someone who was very pleased to be attending the opening ceremony of the Games in Beijing together with the Presidents of the other institutions, let me make one thing very clear, here and now, in the plenary sitting of the European Parliament: every politician with a sense of responsibility must ask themselves whether they can take part in the opening ceremony if the Chinese leadership does not seek dialogue and compromise. Ladies and gentlemen, we wish to make our contribution so that the world's athletes can meet in fair and free competition in Beijing. However, our values and our self-respect will not allow us to surrender our principles. We in the European Parliament have a special responsibility in this regard. For many years now the European Parliament has resolutely championed the cause of human rights in Tibet. In numerous resolutions we have called for a constructive dialogue between the Chinese leadership and the Dalai Lama and respect for the human rights of the Tibetan people. In doing so, we are guided by our principles and values, of which fundamental rights are an integral part: the dignity of each and every individual, and the realisation of their own and their ethnic community's cultural and religious identity are the values we espouse. The events in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, and in other Chinese cities since 10 March this year are deeply disturbing. We condemn every form of violence and the disproportionate use of the military and police. We condemn the deaths of people who were acting peacefully. We declare our solidarity with the Dalai Lama, who is a symbol of peace, understanding and compromise. We cannot allow a situation in which the Dalai Lama's name is linked with terrorism. We cannot allow the demonisation of the Dalai Lama. On a personal note, may I say that whenever I have met the Dalai Lama, the impression that I have always gained is of a person with a profound commitment to peace, reconciliation and human rights. I have every confidence and trust in the Dalai Lama and wish to convey my great respect and appreciation to him. I therefore call on those in power in Beijing to negotiate with the Dalai Lama and, while upholding the territorial integrity of China, to reach an understanding that respects and guarantees the cultural and religious identity of the Tibetan people. The Dalai Lama has accepted our invitation to address the European Parliament as part of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, and this has been scheduled for the month of December."@en1
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