The Dalai Lama has met with French first lady Carla Sarkozy during the inauguration of a Buddhist temple, in a diplomatic manoeuvre avoiding a potentially controversial meeting with the French President Nicholas Sarkozy, reported dpa.
The Tibetan spiritual leader was in the southern town of Roqueredonde to open the Lerab Ling temple, and received the former popstar Carla along with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and State Secretary for Human Rights Rama Yade.
President Sarkozy aroused Chinese ire after he threatened to boycott the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing, in the aftermath of the Chinese crackdown in Tibet in March 2008.
In an interview with French daily Le Monde published on Friday, the Dalai Lama called on Sarkozy, as EU President, to "engage in constructive dialogue with the Chinese government" towards a solution to the Tibet question.
China has repeatedly warned France not to accord the Dalai Lama the status of a political leader. President Sarkozy is due to meet with the Dalai Lama along with other Nobel Prize winners in December.