Prince Charles agrees to meet Dalai Lama

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London, Mar 20 (UNI) The Prince of Wales has agreed to meet the Dalai Lama to discuss the Tibet issue when he visits Britain in May, the Prince's spokesman has said.

The announcement came a day after British Prime Minister Gordon Brown informed Parliament about his decision to see the exiled spiritual and political leader of the Tibetan people.

Mr Brown told parliament that the meeting would go ahead in May. British officials believe the Prime Minister would have incurred significant domestic criticism if he had bowed to China's demands not to meet the spiritual leader in the aftermath of the worst violence in Tibet for nearly two decades.

Recently, senior Chinese government officials had warned the UK government against Mr Brown meeting the Dalai Lama.

Mr Brown told the Commons that he had spoken to Chinese prime minister Wen Jiabao, and made it clear there had to be an end to the violence. ''I also called for constraint and for ending the violence by dialogue between the two parties,'' he said.

Clarence House confirmed the meeting between Prince Charles and the Dalai Lama, but the location and exact date had not yet been confirmed.

It would not be the first time that the Prince and the Dalai Lama would meet. In May 2004 the Nobel Peace Prize winner met Prince Charles at a St James's Palace reception. Prince Charles is known to be an admirer of the Dalai Lama.

In 1991, the two had discussed the plight of Tibet and relations with China at an environment conference here.

Communications Director at Clarence House, Paddy Harverson, said, ''For many years the Prince has been concerned about the situation of the people in Tibet. He has met the Dalai Lama on several occasions and has been greatly impressed by his spiritual leadership.'' UNI XC SYU VC1755

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