German government gives cold shoulder to Dalai Lama

When the Dalai Lama visited Germany in September last year he was received in a blaze of publicity by Chancellor Angela Merkel. This time, the reception will be decidedly cooler, dpa reported.

Nobody in the government wants to meet the Tibetan spiritual leader and Nobel peace laureate when he pays a four-day visit to Germany at the end of this week.

Merkel will be away in South America and her deputy, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, turned down an official request for a meeting because he doesn't have time.

German President Horst Koehler has also ruled out a meeting because of scheduling difficulties, his spokesman, Martin Kothe told Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

Television journalist Franz Alt dismissed the reason as a poor excuse. "The president is kowtowing to the Chinese. That is cowardice," Alt was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Alt said it made no sense for German leaders to refuse a meeting when the Chinese themselves were holding talks with Tibetan representatives.

The Dalai Lama, who begins his visit on May 16, told the German news magazine Der Spiegel that the negotiations in China were being held in an atmosphere that was "not aggressive but respectful."

Both sides had agreed on a "common approach" to the talks, which began this month in the city of Shenzhen, Der Spiegel's online edition reported.

The Tibetan leader said he believed that Chinese side had agreed to the talks under pressure from the protests in Tibet in March and in fear that the Beijing Olympics, which begin in August, could be harmed.

"I can only encourage every free society to keep up the pressure," he said, stressing that the talks with Beijing had to be productive and not just symbolic

The Dalai Lama, who enjoys huge popularity in Germany, will attend a conference and speak on human rights in four cities before travelling to the German capital on May 19.

In Berlin, he is scheduled to address the foreign affairs and human rights committees of the German parliament and deliver a speech at the landmark Brandenburg Gate.

On Thursday, the European representative of the Dalai Lama criticized the German foreign minister for having no time to see the Tibetan leader. "We think he was badly advised," Tseten Chhoekyapa said in Berlin.

Such a meeting would have been important for the Dalai Lama because of the dramatic situation in Tibet and the crackdown against people who rebelled against Chinese rule, he said. The visit has also led to a war of words between Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and her Social Democrat (SPD) coalition partner.

The Dalai Lama is due to meet senior CDU members, among them the president of the German parliament, Norbert Lammert, and the premier of Hesse state, Roland Koch. But he won't be seeing leading politicians from Steinmeier's SPD.

The foreign minister publicly criticized Merkel's talks with the Tibetan leader last year as an unnecessary provocation of China. The meeting led to a chill in relations between Berlin and Beijing that ended only in January after intense German diplomatic efforts.

Analysts say Steinmeier believes that regular contacts with his Chinese counterparts and informal links to the Tibetans are the best way of dealing with the Tibet issue.

But Koch told the newspaper Welt am Sonntag that Steinmeier ran the risk that China would perceive "human rights is no longer as important an issue for the German government as it was when the chancellor received" the Dalai Lama.

SPD foreign policy expert Rolf Muetzenich accused the CDU of misusing Germany's Tibet policy to score political points at the expense of the foreign minister.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Saudi foreign ministry says discussed Iran nuclear program with U.S. Blinken
Saudi foreign ministry says discussed Iran nuclear program with U.S. Blinken
US ready for Vienna talks on nuclear deal, but time is limited — White House
US ready for Vienna talks on nuclear deal, but time is limited — White House
Iran to resume Vienna negotiations on JCPOA soon - MFA
Iran to resume Vienna negotiations on JCPOA soon - MFA
Loading Bars
Information about shooting of Azerbaijani army in direction of Arazdayan does not correspond to reality - Ministry of Defense
Sudan protest calls for military coup as political crisis deepens
Chronicles of Victory: President Ilham Aliyev addresses the nation on October 17, 2020 (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Chronicles of Victory: October 17, 2020
District Election Commissions to sum up protocols of municipal polls in Georgia
A working meeting of the delegations of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan takes place
Russian authorities say 18 dead in suspected alcohol poisoning in Yekaterinburg
UN chief welcomes unilateral cease-fire in CAR
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to rise
Work on increasing wages, pensions and benefits begins - Ministry of Finance of Azerbaijan
Official talks reasons for increase in gas prices in Azerbaijan
Post-conflict reconstruction projects launched by President Ilham Aliyev is unprecedented - Aide to President (VIDEO)
Azerbaijani IDEA signs agreement with All-Russian Society for Nature Conservation (PHOTO)
Saudi Arabia's PIF launches offshore platform tourism project
NATO Special Representative for Caucasus to visit Azerbaijan
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on October 17
Iran reaches grow in exports to Kyrgyzstan
World gas prices grow by 20-30 times compared to last year - SOCAR
Latvia to gift Georgia 83,070 doses of Pfizer jab
Earthquake hits southern Iran
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 1,681 more COVID-19 cases, 675 recoveries
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signs decree on raising social payments
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for October 16
Uzbekistan to privatize public park in Tashkent
Muslims all together sympathetic with Azerbaijan - Palestinian ambassador
Iran's exports to Kazakhstan up
SOCAR Georgia Gas opens tender on pickup trucks through operating lease
Turkish president and German chancellor holding talks in Istanbul
Novak does not rule out recurrence of energy crisis in Europe, urges its prevention
Azerbaijani official talks victims of Armenian attacks on Tartar during Second Karabakh War
Centuries needed to revive nature of Azerbaijan's Karabakh - minister
Azerbaijan raises electricity and gas prices
Restoration work in Azerbaijan’s liberated territories show positive trend – Kyrgyz ambassador
Over past 25-30 years, no country independently conducted such large-scale reconstruction in post-conflict period - aide to Azerbaijani president
Armenia must take serious and positive steps to open communications - Azerbaijani president's assistant (Exclusive)
Azerbaijan looks to sign document on demining liberated territories with France
Azerbaijan's Air Defense Units carrying out combat firing exercises (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan's Karabakh to be famous for its "smart cities" and agricultural products - Turkish ambassador
Iran boosts exports to Russia
Russia registers over 1,000 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours first since pandemic starts
Kazakh energy minister names reasons for shutdown of Pavlodar refinery
Iran sees increase in trade turnover with EAEU member states
Representatives of diplomatic corps view restoration work in liberated territories of Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
First plane with UN humanitarian aid for Afghanistan arrives in Uzbekistan
Iran records increase in load/unload operations in Amirabad port
Georgia and US to discuss co-op in Black Sea
Fuzuli Airport Granted International Status and Assigned IATA Code
Uzbekistan to fund startups in various sectors
U.S. lawmaker blames Boeing leaders for culture that led to crashes
Turkmenistan to purchase agricultural machinery from foreign manufacturers
Iran Energy Exchange shares data on sales of Iran’s Jam Petrochemical Company
Azerbaijan names gymnasts to perform at World Championships in Japan
During former occupation of Sugovushan, Armenia deprived vast lands of water - aide to Azerbaijani president (PHOTO)
Volume of loaded and unloaded cargo in Iran’s Noshahr Port down
Georgia shares data on COVID-19 cases for October 16
Kazakhstan boosts trade with Turkmenistan over 8M2021
Exports of steel manufacturers in Iran increase
Georgia, EU, and Turkey enter into "diagonal cumulation" agreement
Azerbaijani sees increase in oil prices
Iran raises ceiling on housing loans
Uzbekistan’s FEZ creates good basis for deepening co-op with Azerbaijan
Turkmenistan’s private enterprise eyes building dry cargo vessel
Trade turnover between Russia, US may hit record this year, says Deputy PM Overchuk
Iran to launch several shipping lines to Russia, Kazakhstan
Iran looks to improve transportation of goods from Khuzestan Province
Russia’s Korona Pay eyes expanding money transfers via Azerbaijan's mobile banking apps
Gas prices in Europe to remain high over next 6 months
Iranian currency rates for October 16
Turkmenistan's electric potential rises after commissioning new capacious power plants
Iran to increase fuel production
UK MP killing was terrorist incident, Met Police say
Representatives of diplomatic corps in Azerbaijan begin visit to Sugovushan
Czech Republic eyes to support improvement of Georgian air transport infrastructure
1,900 more COVID-19 cases reported in Kazakhstan
Biden says those who refuse to testify in Jan 6 probe should be prosecuted
ISIS claims responsibility for mosque attack in Afghan city of Kandahar
Fully vaccinated foreign visitors can enter U.S. starting on Nov. 8
China's Shenzhou-13 crewed spaceship docks with space station module
UK records more than 40,000 COVID cases for third day in a row
Biden says Clinton will be released ‘shortly’ from California hospital
Amazon-owned Twitch says source code exposed in last week's data breach
Israel's annual inflation up 2.5 pct, highest in nearly decade
Africa's COVID-19 cases surpass 8.41 mln: Africa CDC
US shares specific data on cybercrime with Russia, awaits its actions, White House says
Saudi Arabia appoints Al-Rabiah as new Hajj minister
Chronicles of Victory: President Ilham Aliyev interviewed by Turkish A Haber TV channel on October 16, 2020 (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Chronicles of Victory: October 16, 2020
Czech PM Babis pledges smooth power handover to opposition
UK MP dies after being stabbed at constituency meeting
China’s Shenzhou-13 manned spacecraft successfully reach orbit
Four migrants dead, 21 missing off Spanish coast
FIA approves schedule for Azerbaijan Grand Prix in 2022
COVID-19 kills 197 more Iranians over past 24 hours
Georgian FM meets Slovenian counterpart
Armenia trying to prepare ground for new provocations against Azerbaijan by spreading fake information - MoD
Azerbaijani FM discusses mine threat in liberated territories with French CNEMA delegates (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan lifts flight restrictions for number of countries
Azerbaijani President signs law "On Independence Day"
EBRD to allocate loan to Turkmen beverage company
All news