Europe puts China under pressure on Tibet
The President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Poettering, has called on China to open talks with the Dali Lama on the human rights situation in Tibet.
He also questioned whether European leaders should attend the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics.
Mr Poettering, a German Christian Democrat from Angela Merkel's CDU party, said: 'I genuinely say that all politicians must ask themselves whether they can attend the opening ceremony if China fails to take part in dialogue.'
'We wish to contribute to an outcome whereby the world's athletes can meet in fair and free competitions in Beijing. But our values and our self-respect will not allow us to surrender our principles,' he said.
Speaking at the start of an emergency debate on Tibet in the European Parliament, President Poettering said he does not call into question the territorial integrity of China, nor does it condone violent attacks from any quarter.
However, he said the European Parliament would not turn a blind eye to human rights violations. He urged the Chinese authorities to seek a solution to the current unrest through dialogue with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.
'I therefore call upon decision-makers in Beijing to negotiate with the Dalai Lama and, without prejudice to the territorial unity of China, seek a consensus which respects and guarantees the cultural and religious identity of the Tibetan people.'
President Poettering also condemned Chinese media attacks on the Dali Lama, which have linked him with violent attacks on Chinese people and property.