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India, US urge China to talk to Dalai Lama

EAM Pranab Mukherjee says India hopes Tibet issue will be resolved through peaceful dialogue between the parties concerned.

world Updated: Mar 24, 2008 22:40 IST

India and the United States on Monday nudged China and the Dalai Lama to hold peaceful negotiations between them to resolve the pro-independence unrest in Tibet with Washington insisting that dialogue was the "only" policy that is sustainable in the Himalayan region.

"We have expressed our concern...About the latest developments. We do hope it will be possible to resolve the issue through peaceful dialogue between the parties concerned," External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters at a joint press conference after holding wideranging talks with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Washington.

Rice, who was more forthcoming on the vexed Tibet issue, urged China to initiate dialogue with the Dalai Lama as it was the "only policy that is sustainable in Tibet."

"We believe that the answer for Tibet is to have a more sustanable policy for the Chinese government," Rice said.

"I have spoken with my counterpart (Yang Jiechi) about the current situation in which there needs to be restraint in which violence is not acceptable," she said.

"But there also needs to be a day after the current events and that really requires a sustained process of dealing with the problems of Tibet and the grievances of Tibet," she said.

"We are going to continue to encourage that dialogue because ultimately that is going to be the only policy that is sustainable in Tibet," she said, adding to the growing international demand that Beijing should initiate talks with the 72-year-old Tibetan Buddist spiritual leader.

Mukherjee is Washington on his maiden bilateral visit as External Affairs Minister.