Thursday, 13 December 2012

Questions (50)

Finian McGrath

Question:

50. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will support the Tibetan community in Ireland and its campaign against the occupation of Tibet. [56011/12]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The Government follows closely ongoing issues in Tibet and is concerned about aspects of this situation. Ireland together with our EU partners believes that constructive dialogue between the Chinese Government and the representatives of the Dalai Lama is the best way to address differences and tensions in Tibet and to reach a solution that respects Tibetan culture, language, religion and identity. It is important for the long-term peace and stability of the region that the two sides come to an agreement on the future of Tibet. To this end, we continue to encourage an early resumption of dialogue by the parties.

The promotion of human rights is an important dimension of European foreign policy, as enshrined in the Treaty of the European Union. Constructive dialogue remains the EU’s preferred channel for working to improve the human rights situation in China. Human rights are discussed as part of regular political dialogue as well as during specific human rights dialogues with China which have taken place since 1995. The Irish Government continues to convey its concerns about the situation in Tibet directly to the Chinese authorities through regular contacts in both Dublin and Beijing. The issue of Tibet is also raised by the European Union in its dialogue with China. Most recently, the EU raised the issue of Tibet at the 31st round of the EU-China human rights dialogue in Brussels at the end of May.