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Dalai Lama Meets with President of EU Parliament, Prompting Outcry from Beijing

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama (L), is welcomed by European Parliament president Martin Schulz at his arrival at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, September 15, 2016. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler - RTSNTNS

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama met Thursday with EU President Martin Schulz at the European Union Parliament in Strasbourg.

According to, Chinese officials protested the meeting by announcing an immediate postponement of an upcoming visit by an EU economic delegation to China.

At his address to the Council of Europe, the Dalai Lama expressed his gratitude for EU support of the Tibetan people, who he said are living with fear.

In a prepared statement, Schulz's office confirmed the EU president's one-on-one meeting with the Dharamsala-based Tibetan leader, in which they discussed "global affairs and the human rights situation in the world."

"President Schulz enjoyed the frank, open, spiritually enriching and wide-ranging discussion," it said. "The meeting was originally requested by His Holiness' side. President Schulz met the Dalai Lama in his capacity as spiritual leader.

"President Schulz regrets Chinese authorities have stated their intention of postponing upcoming visits of MEPs to the country, but the President remains firm in deciding autonomously and free from undue pressure on who he should meet and in ensuring the European Parliament remains an open and pluralistic place for debate, hosting a number of guests and of different opinions."

The statement also says the European Parliament endorses the one-China policy, and it has expressed concerns about the human rights situation in Tibet.

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