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British PM to Greet Dalai Lama Away from Downing Street


Britain says Prime Minister Gordon Brown will meet the Dalai Lama later this month in London, but officials say the meeting will not take place at Number 10 Downing Street.

Instead, Mr. Brown will meet the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader at the official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lambeth Palace. Brown critics say the move is aimed at appeasing China, which routinely opposes moves by Western governments to greet the Dalai Lama as a head of state.

Beijing insists Tibet is a part of China. The Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet to India in 1959, has sought to regain autonomy for the territory.

The decision to meet the Dalai Lama away from Downing Street has triggered opposition calls for the prime minister to reverse himself.

China agreed this month to open preliminary reconciliation talks with Tibetan exile leaders.

Mr. Brown -- like other Western leaders in the past -- angered Beijing when he announced earlier this year that he would meet with the Dalai Lama during his 11-day visit beginning May 20th.

However, U.S. President George Bush, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Mr. Brown's predecessor, Tony Blair, have set aside Chinese concerns and met with the monk at their offices or residences.

The Dalai Lama is set to address a British parliamentary committee on human rights issues during his visit.

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