French FM: European Union to Invite Dalai Lama for Talks བོད་སྐད།

France's foreign minister says the European Union will invite Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, for talks in Brussels.

Bernard Kouchner did not suggest a date for the talks, but he told RTL radio in Paris Tuesday that the invitation would be made soon.

Such a meeting is likely to anger China, a big market for many European countries.

The Dalai Lama is already scheduled to visit London in May, and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said he plans to meet with him then.

Meanwhile, representatives of the Dalai Lama in Tokyo say he plans to stop briefly in Japan next week on his way to the United States.

Sources familiar with that trip say there are no plans for the Dalai Lama to meet with Japanese officials, but they did not rule out him holding a news conference.

The Dalai Lama's representatives say he will stay at an airport near Tokyo after arriving from India on April 10.

The Dalai Lama last visited Japan in November, but officials put restrictions on his activities to avoid offending China.

China has controlled Tibet since 1951 and accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking independence for the region. The spiritual leader insists he only wants autonomy for Tibetans under Chinese sovereignty.

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