H.H. the Dalai Lama Addresses the EP Foreign Affairs Committee

June 2nd 2006

Brussels, Belgium, 2 June 2006 (Bureau du Tibet, Brussels) - His Holiness the Dalai Lama's third day program of his fourth visit to Belgium was the political highlight of the entire visit. In the morning, His Holiness was enthusiastically greeted by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the EU Parliament when he attended a meeting and addressed the Committee.

While emphasizing the important role of the EU within its 25 member countries and to the world at large, His Holiness told the Committee that EU should even extend its membership to Russia which plays a very important geo-political role in Europe and in the world at large. If EU continues to play an effective role without due regard to the sovereignty of its member states, there can be an Asian Union, an African Union, a Latin American Union based on the model of EU and slowly there can also Global Union to work for the common good and address common problems.

His Holiness apreciated the role of EU in the efforts to resolve the issue of Tibet and stated that apart from the the sustained efforts of the exile Tibetan governmnet, it was the continuous political help from the EU and the US that the direct contact between exile Tibetan administration and China could be re-established. His Holiness said since then five meetings took place between the two sides. The meetings although achieved no major breakthrough so far in the major areas of differences, His Holiness said there were some improvements in the of treating the nature of meetings by the Chinese government.

His Holiness compared the future autonomous status of Tibet to the status of Quebec within Canada and Scotland within the UK. He stated that interest shown by many Chinese in Tibetan Buddhism was an encouraging sign. There are many Chinese from China who come for His Holiness' teachings in India.

The Dalai Lama further spoke on the urgency to protect the ecology of Tibet as the Tibetan plateau is the major source of rivers in asia providing livelihood of millions of people. He stated that it was important for environmental experts from China and the west to visit the source of these rivers and provide environmentally sustainable suggestions to the Chinese authorities to preserve the ecological system of Tibet.

The Dalai Lama's statement received immense attention from the members of the EP Foreign Affairs Committee who also asked if there were any specific areas where they could support the Tibetan cause. He also met with Mr. Josep Borrell, President of the European Parliament, the EP Political Group leaders and had frank exchange of views.

In his meeting with His Holiness, Mr. G

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