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Head of Tibetan Delegation Says Some Progress But Many Disagreements with China - 2003-06-18

An envoy of the Dalai Lama says many disagreements with China must still be resolved, despite visits by two Tibetan delegations in the past year.

Envoy Lodi Gyari said Wednesday that a recent trip he led to China helped create a good environment for dialogue. But he said that formal negotiations with China are a long way off. He spoke in Dharamsala, India, the headquarters of the Tibet's exiled government.

Mr. Gyari recently led a four-member delegation to China for two weeks. It was the second such visit since last September, after a nine-year break in official contact between the two sides.

China's Foreign Ministry said earlier the visits by the Tibetans prove that communication lines are open with the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader. But Beijing does not recognize the Tibetans as official envoys of the Dalai Lama. It also says it has not changed its policy towards Tibet's exiled leader.