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Page last updated at 16:26 GMT, Tuesday, 1 April 2008 17:26 UK

India sends warning to Dalai Lama

Indian foreign minister, Pranab Mukherjee
Mr Mukherjee said the Dalai Lama was a "respected guest" in India

India's Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee has warned the Dalai Lama against any political activity damaging to India's relationship with China.

Mr Mukherjee also stressed that the exiled spiritual leader would continue to be welcome in India.

The comments, which reiterate Delhi's position, come at a sensitive time, following anti-China protests in India.

Correspondents say the protests are embarrassing for the Indian government

which is improving ties with China.

Speaking on Indian television, Mr Mukherjee said: "India will continue to offer him all hospitality, but during his stay in India, they should not do any political activity, any action that can adversely affect relations between India and China".

Demonstrations

This policy has been in place since 1959, when the Dalai Lama fled his homeland, after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in the Himalayan region.

He settled in the north Indian hill town of Dharamsala, which has been the site of recent protests against China.

Demonstrations have also been seen outside the Chinese Embassy in Delhi, after which Beijing summoned the Indian ambassador.

India has assured China that the Olympic torch will pass safely through the country.

But the country's football captain has refused to carry the torch.


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