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02september200922Dharamshala: Members of the French Senate’s Tibet Information Group, presided by UMP member Mr Jean François Humbert from Doubs district, welcomed news of the Dalai Lama’s envoys Mr Lodi Gyari and Mr Kelsang Gyaltsen arrival in China on 26th January to resume talks with the Chinese authorities.

"This talk is taking place after fifteen months and is the 9th meeting since the two sides began dialogue in 2002.  Before the talk, the envoys had a preparatory task force meeting, which was held at Dharamsala chaired by the Premier of the exiled Tibetan Government, Professor Samdhong Rinpoche, and later on, they sought advices of His Holiness the Dalai Lama," Mr Jean François Humbert described in a statement on 30 January.

"The Senators express their hope for a meaningful talk during this meeting and state that the Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People which was released by the Tibetan side in November 2008 should serve as a basis of the discussion, since it fully conforms to the provisions of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China.

As the elected members of the French people, they remain attentive and continue to keep a hope that a dialogue process, adopted by both sides, will pave a way to find a negotiated solution to this longstanding issue," the Senate statement continued,

On 28 January, the Economic and Social Committee of the European Union also welcomed the progress in the ongoing Tibet-China dialogue process.

"As President of the European Economic and Social Committee, which was able to lead a fact-finding trip to Tibet in September 2009 to analyse the economic and social situation of Tibetan society, I am delighted with the progress in the ongoing dialogue on Tibet that has been made over the last few days," Committee President Mario Sepi stated.

"The resumption of discussions, marked by the meeting between the Dalai Lama's envoys and delegates from the Tibetan government in exile on the one hand, and the Chinese government on the other, followed on from the major symposium on Tibet, which looked at issues around the economic development of the Tibet autonomous region.

"I am pleased to see that economic and social problems are so central to the discussions on the future of the Tibetan people and that the aspects of economic and social conditions we could observe during our trip to the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) are at the heart of the talks.

"Among other issues, I would particularly like to highlight the significant difference between urban and rural areas and the fact that the poorer rural areas are mostly populated by Tibetans,” Sepi pointed out.

He continued, "I am also very positive about the extension of the development plan for Tibet to the Tibetan-populated areas of the four contiguous Chinese provinces. This is a sign of the awareness of the significance of the issues around the level of participation by Tibetans in the region's economic development, a matter that was of major concern during our trip to Tibet.”

"If Tibet is to enjoy genuine, integrated development, it is of the utmost importance to invest seriously in the human factor and in greater civic participation by Tibetans," Sepi concluded.