Chinese envoy meets HM regarding Olympic torch's safety

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New Delhi, Mar 27 (UNI) In view of the Tibetan protestors scaling the wall of Chinese embassy recently, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yan today met Home Minister Shivraj Patil and urged him to take steps to provide proper security cover to the Beijing Olympic torch during its run in India.

The meeting lasted about half an hour during which Mr Zhang is understood to have emphasised the need for protecting the flame for Beijing Olympics which comes here on April 17.

China apprehends that threat to the safety of the Olympic torch here from Tibetan protestors who had earlier scaled the wall of the its embassy here.

However, both the Home Ministry and Mr Zhang downplayed the meeting with Mr Patil. According to a Home Ministry spokesman, during the meeting, the Ambassador expressed appreciation for the steps taken by the government to provide protection to the Chinese diplomatic and consular premises and various measures taken by it in this context.

''The Home Minister assured him of continued co-operation of the Government of India in this regard. The Ambassador recalled the Home Minister's visit to China. Reciprocating the sentiments, the Home Minister said that he would look forward to continued co-operation between the two countries,'' he informed.

The envoy has already raised the matter of safety of Olympic torch with the External Affairs Ministry and the Indian Olympic Association here. National Security Advisor M K Narayanan has already assured the neighbouring country that the Indian government would provide full security to the torch.

UNI AJ VD KN1842

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