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August 21, 2017

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Two Dalai Lama envoys resign in anger at stalled China talks

DHARAMSHALA, India--Two top envoys of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama have resigned citing frustration over the stalled dialogue process with China, Tibet's government in exile said on Sunday.

Lodi Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen submitted their resignations to Lobsang Sangay, prime minister of the government in exile, following a meeting of the Tibetan Task Force in the northern Indian town of Dharamshala.

The duo had led the Tibetan negotiating team in nine rounds of talks with representatives of the Chinese government since 2002, with the last meeting taking place more than two years ago.

"Given the deteriorating situation inside Tibet since 2008 leading to the increasing cases of self-immolations by Tibetans, we are compelled to submit our resignations," the envoys said in a statement.

"At this particular time, it is difficult to have substantive dialogue (with China)," they added.

Beijing routinely accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking to split Tibet from the rest of China, a claim the Nobel Peace Prize laureate denies, saying he only seeks greater autonomy for the Himalayan region.

Sangay praised the "invaluable" contributions of the envoys to the Tibetan cause and said his cabinet would continue to look up to them for advice.

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