Staying away from Dalai Lama function no disrespect : India

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On Board Prime Minister's Special Plane, Nov 11 (UNI) Asserting that it recognised Tibet as an Autonomous Region of China, India today dismissed suggestions that it had shown any disrespect to the Dalai Lama when senior officers and Ministers stayed away from a function recently to felicitate the Tibetan spiritual leader.

''Dalai Lama is a religious leader and he has told us that he will not engage in any political activity,'' Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon told reporters accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his visit to Moscow.

He said India's recognition of Tibet as an Autonomous Region of China obviously meant that representatives of the Indian government would stay away from any function which was not in conformity with the country's stand.

However, this did not in any way mean that there had been any dilution in respect for the Dalai Lama, he added.

On the ongoing talks between India and China on the border issue, the Foreign Secretary expressed satisfaction at the progress.

Technically, the two sides had set up a working group to arrive at a solution.

UNI

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