Declaration by the EU Presidency on the situation in Tibet, 18 March 2008

The EU is deeply concerned about the ongoing reports of unrest in Tibet and conveys its deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims. The EU is urgently seeking further clarification of the situation from the Chinese Government.

The EU calls for restraint on all sides. We urge the Chinese authorities to refrain from using force against those involved in unrest and calls on demonstrators to desist from violence.

The EU stresses the importance it attaches to the right of freedom of expression and peaceful protest. We call on Chinese authorities to respond to the demonstrations in accordance with internationally recognised democratic principles.

The EU firmly supports peaceful reconciliation between Chinese authorities and the Dalai Lama and his representatives. The EU urges the Chinese government to address the concerns of Tibetans with regard to issues of human rights.

The EU encourages both sides to enter into a substantive and constructive dialogue with a view to reach a sustainable solution acceptable to all that would fully respect the Tibetan culture, religion and identity.

EU foreign ministers’ statement on Tibet, 29 March 2008

“The 27 ministers for foreign affairs of the EU and the (European) Commission discussed the situation in Tibet.

“They reiterated their strong concern over the events in the autonomous Chinese region of Tibet. The EU condemns all violence and pays its respect to the victims.

“It calls for an end to the violence and asks that arrested persons be treated in conformity with international standards.

“It wishes to uphold the transparency of information and hence free access by the press to Tibet.

“The EU notes the Dalai Lama’s recent public commitment to non-violence and to the autonomy, not independence of Tibet. It calls for substantive and constructive dialogue which addresses core issues like preservation of the Tibetan language, culture, religion and traditions.

“The European Union will continue to pay close attention to the human rights situation in China.”