German Chancellor to Meet the Dalai Lama

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet the Dalai Lama at her office in Berlin later this month, her spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said Friday, describing the planned meeting as a private encounter with a religious leader

Asked by reporters if Beijing might be upset at the Dalai Lama being invited to the chancellery, Wilhelm said the situation in Tibet was regularly brought up during German-Chinese consultations on human rights.

Holger Haibach, a lawmaker with Merkel's Christian Democrats, described the planned meeting as "an event of an almost historical dimension."

"The chancellor is sending a clear signal that we in Germany are not unmoved by the situation of the Tibetans, and that in the run-up to the Olympic Games in Beijing we are casting a watchful eye on human rights in Tibet and all of China," he said.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.