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27march20101Brussels: During the Mini-Plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels on Thursday, the Members of European Parliament (MEPs) held a debate on the current situation of Tibet reviewing the peaceful protests by Tibetans inside Tibet in 2008.

During the debate EU Commissioner and Vice-President of the European Commission, Mr. Maros Sefcovic said: "We have real concerns about the human rights situation in Tibet, about the fact that Tibet has remained largely closed to international media, diplomats and humanitarian organisations and also about the lack of progress in talks between the representatives of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese authorities."

"The EU position does not leave any room for misinterpretation. Therefore, let me stress: the EU respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China, including Tibet. We respect the ‘one China' policy."

*However, we have always supported peaceful reconciliation through dialogue between the Chinese authorities and the representatives of the Dalai Lama. This dialogue has to be constructive and substantive, addressing all core issues such as the preservation of Tibet's unique culture, religion and traditions and the need to achieve a system of meaningful autonomy for Tibet within the Chinese Constitution."

"The dialogue should also address the participation of all Tibetans in decision-making. For the EU, Tibet is a human rights issue. We have consistently passed this message on to our Chinese counterparts and listened carefully to their views, and we make every effort to understand their position in a spirit of mutual respect."

"But human rights are universal, and the situation in Tibet is a legitimate concern for the international community, a point that we regularly make to our Chinese interlocutors."

"In the Sino-Tibetan dialogue, the Tibetan side has recently submitted an updated memorandum on genuine autonomy for the future of Tibet. We welcome that the Tibetan side has reiterated its firm commitment not to seek separation or independence."

"We are also pleased that the Dalai Lama remains committed to the middle-way approach and to dialogue as the only means for achieving a mutually acceptable and lasting solution."

"The EU welcomes the fact that both parties continue to hold talks even if we note with regret the lack of results and the lack of momentum."

"Let me conclude by appealing to the representatives of the two sides to continue and intensify the dialogue with an open spirit and with a view to achieving a durable solution in Tibet. From our side I can guarantee the EU's wholehearted support to such a process."

MEPs Call For Appointment of EU Special Envoy For Tibet

While expressing concern over the current situation in Tibet the MEPs called for the appointment of an EU Special Envoy for Tibet, a meeting between High Representative Baroness Ashton and His Holiness the Dalai Lama and to send an investigation team to Tibet.

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