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Sarkozy to meet with Dalai Lama

world Updated: Dec 06, 2008 18:07 IST

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is scheduled to hold a long-awaited meeting with the Dalai Lama in the face of sharp protests from Beijing.

The French president and the Tibetan spiritual leader are to meet in Gdansk on Saturday during celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of former Polish President Lech Walesa's Nobel Peace Prize.

China has demanded Sarkozy cancel the meeting, and has already called off a major China-EU summit in protest.

Beijing has also warned the meeting could have an impact on France's relations with China.

Beijing maintains Tibet has been part of China for more than seven centuries and denounces the Dalai Lama as a separatist.