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EU Parliament Pres Calls For End To Tibet Violence

EP President Hans-Gert Pöttering calls for a stop to violence in Tibet

The President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering, has expressed his concern about the recent events in Tibet and has urged both sides to stop the violence.

President Pöttering said: "The use of the force is never advisable. I want to make a call to both sides to stop it. Tibetan protesters should demonstrate peacefully while the Chinese response has to be measured and never disproportional".

"Chinese borders and integrity are not in question. However China must respect the minorities living in the country. Their right to live according to their traditions, languages and religion is a basic principle that has to be respected", he added.

The President of the European Parliament asked the Chinese authorities to give journalists free access to all parts of Tibet in order to report on the actual situation on the ground. "Human rights standards include freedom of expression", he stated.

Finally President Pöttering said: "I very much hope that the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing 2008 will be a success. I am confident that China will do its utmost for this to become a reality. This will be an opportunity for China to demonstrate that a country hosting the world's most important sports event is committed to internationally recognised human rights standards including the respect of minorities and freedom of religion."

ENDS

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