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China appreciates Russia's visa rejection to Dalai Lama, FM spokesman
( 2003-09-25 22:42) (Xinhua)

The Chinese government appreciated the move taken by Russia to reject issuing a visa to the Dalai Lama, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said Thursday.

Kong said that in the joint communique issued after the regular meeting of prime ministers between China and Russia, certain articles mentioned the Tibet issue.

The communique says that "the two sides will continue to firmly support the other for maintaining state unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Russian side reiterates its stance on the Taiwan and Tibet issues."

In a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry Tuesday, Russia rejected a visa application from the Dalai Lama to visit Russia's republic of Kalmykia.

"Guided by the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries and being aware of the sensitivity of the Tibet issue, we would not allow a visit by the Dalai Lama to Kalmykia at the invitation of a top official," the statement said.

The statement said Russia considers Tibet an inalienable part of China and that it refrains from any official contact with the Dalai Lama.

Russia last rejected a visa to the Dalai Lama in August 2002.

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