Mexico leader meets Dalai Lama

The Mexican leader however reiterated his country`s adherence to the one-China principle.

Mexico City: Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Friday held "private" talks with the Dalai Lama -- a move sure to irritate China, which says the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader is bent on independence.

Calderon`s office said in a statement that the pair had discussed "the importance of promoting ethical values in contemporary society”.

The Mexican leader reiterated his country`s adherence to the "one-China principle" and its recognition of China`s full sovereignty over Tibet.

The Dalai Lama described the talks as "very good" and taking place in a "friendly atmosphere" -- and added that Calderon had "inquired about the situation in Tibet”.

The talks were not listed on Calderon`s public agenda, nor were they part of the official itinerary for the Dalai Lama`s third visit to Mexico, where he arrived late Thursday.

Beijing regards Tibet as an "inseparable" part of China and the Dalai Lama -- who lives in exile in India -- as a "splittist" bent on dividing the country. It regularly protests over his meetings overseas.

In July, China said US President Barack Obama`s talks with the Buddhist monk had damaged relations between the two countries.

The Dalai Lama says he is peacefully seeking greater rights in Tibet and accepts Chinese rule.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner fled Tibet following a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959. He later founded Tibet`s government in exile in Dharamsala, northern India, but gave up his political leadership role in May.

Bureau Report

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