(TibetanReview.net, Feb12, 2015) – South Africa’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Ms Nomaindia Mfeketo, on Feb 9 met with the visiting exile Tibetan Administration’s foreign relations secretary Mr Tashi Phuntok at her office. The move is likely to be seen by domestic critics as an attempt to partially make up for the government’s severely criticized denial of visa for the Dalai Lama which forced the cancellation of a Nobel Peace laureates’ summit in Cape Town last year.
The Minister began by enquiring about His Holiness the Dalai Lama, said the exile administration on its Tibet.net website Feb 10. The meeting lasted 45 minutes. Mr Tashi Phuntok was joined by the exile administration’s de facto mission head Mrs Nangsa Choedon at the Office of Tibet, South Arica, and Mr Guy Lieberman, described as a Friend of Tibet group member.
Mr Tashi Phuntsok reminded the minister that the Office of Tibet in South Africa was established in 1997 with full support from the Government of South Africa under the then President Mr Nelson Mandela. He spoke about the continuing tragic situation in Tibet under Chinese rule and the exile administration’s policy of seeking a negotiated middle way solution that does not seek independence for Tibet.
The minister was reported to have recalled her meeting with the Dalai Lama in 1999 and expressed her desire to continue the contact and relationship.