Botswana’s government has confirmed that it will allow Dalai Lama to visit the country from 17-19 Aug 17 as “a foreign dignitary”, despite China’s fierce opposition to the Tibetan spiritual leader. Botswana Foreign Minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi said that Dalai Lama’s visit is purely private. However, he would be granted the status of a foreign dignitary and the President will “extend basic courtesies for Dalai Lama”.
Venson-Moitoi also asked China to follow the policy of non-interference in the international affairs of other countries and to respect the sovereign rights of Botswana. He also hoped that the visit would not diminish the existing relations between both the countries.
It is pertinent to mention that China is a key investor in Botswana’s economy and has helped to build coal-fired power plants, road networks, bridges, and schools there. It has also shown disapproval of Dalai Lama’s upcoming visit to Botswana.