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Tibet talks tough: Dalai Lama envoy

india Updated: Jul 04, 2008 20:27 IST

An envoy of the Dalai Lama said on Friday the latest round of talks with China was "tough", calling the dialogue ill-timed because Beijing was preoccupied with the Olympic Games.

The secretive talks, held from July 1-2 in Beijing, aimed to mend fences with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, but were marked by an aggressive reiteration of the Chinese allegation that the Dalai Lama instigated the March unrest in Tibet.

"It was tough," Lodi Gyari told Reuters. "Before the Olympics it is not feasible to hold talks ... they are obsessed with the Olympics.

"There is some widespread belief that they are only meeting because of the Olympics," he said of the talks, which could burnish China's international image weeks before the Games.

This was the second meeting between the two sides since a March crackdown on protests against Chinese rule in Tibet, which led to an international diplomatic chorus for China to hold a dialogue with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.

Tibet then became a flashpoint for anti-China protests that disrupted the Olympic torch relay around the world and led to calls for state leaders to boycott the Beijing Games, which open on Aug 8.

Lodi Gyari was expected to brief the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile officials about the talks on Friday.

The two sides will meet again after the Olympics, but Lodi Gyari warned that unless the Chinese authorities were serious any dialogue was just a waste of time.

"After Olympics when we hold talks, we will know what the true attitude is," he said.