May 12,2008 00:00
LONDON -- British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will meet the Dalai Lama at Lambeth Palace instead of 10 Downing Street, a spokesman for Brown said.
By talking to the Dalai Lama at the home of the Archbishop of Canterbury in London instead of receiving him at his own official residence, Brown will be meeting with him as a "spiritual representative," the spokesman said.
The Dalai Lama is a sensitive issue for western leaders. German Chancellor Angela Merkel infuriated Chinese leaders last year by meeting him in Berlin, while President Bush became the first U.S. president to receive him officially at the White House.
William Hague, the Conservative foreign policy spokesman, said Brown should follow his predecessors' example and receive the Dalai Lama at No. 10, The Times of London reported Sunday.
"The prime minister should be prepared to meet all leaders in Downing Street," Hague said.
Before he was ousted by the Chinese, the Dalai Lama was both the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists and the absolute ruler of Tibet. He has said he would return to Tibet as a religious leader, not as a ruler.
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