Singapore welcomes China offer of dialogue with Dalai Lama
Singapore welcomed on Friday China's offer to begin consultations with representatives of the Dalai Lama, saying a long-term solution is in the interest of the "entire region", according to the dpa
"No one, least of all the Tibetan people, gains from the continuation of the tensions and protests and the attempts to link the Tibetan issue with the Beijing Olympic Games," a Singaporean Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said in a statement.
"It is in the interest of the entire region that a long-term solution be found that will respect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and maintain law and order, while allowing the Tibetan people the maximum possible cultural and religious space," he said.
Consultations will help maintain stability in Tibet, the spokesman noted.
Beijing considers Tibet an autonomous region within China and has branded the exiled Dalai Lama a separatist.
Unrest in Tibet last month triggered a crackdown by China. Raucous demonstrations against China's rule of Tibet took place during the London and Paris legs of the Olympic torch relay.
The relay was largely peaceful in Canberra on Thursday, although scuffles broke out between pro-Tibet and China supporters.
The flame's next stop is Nagano, Japan on Saturday.