By Shyamal Sinha
The Dalai Lama congratulated Boris Johnson on becoming the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
As he offered heartfelt greetings to the new PM, His Holiness observed that he had visited the UK regularly over the years and has been touched by the affection and friendship shown to him by people from all walks of life.
“I am also very appreciative of the strong interest and support that our British friends have expressed for the Tibetan people’s aspirations for freedom and dignity. Historically, Tibetans have enjoyed a long and unique relationship with Great Britain. To this day we maintain close contacts with members of the families of British Government officials who were posted in Tibet prior to 1959.
“These are very challenging times and I have made public my view on the issue of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU).
“I have long been an admirer of the spirit of the European Union, according to which the nations of Europe, after fighting each other for centuries, decided instead to work together for the common good. Nevertheless, I understand the choice made in the 2016 referendum and I respect it.”
His Holiness expressed the hope that, whatever the outcome of impending changes may be, the U.K. will continue to enjoy an influential position in our highly interdependent world. He concluded by offering his prayers and good wishes.
Boris Johnson officially assumed the office of the Prime Minister today, a day after his landslide victory in the Conservative Party leadership contest. The former London mayor and figurehead of the 2016 Brexit campaign formally replaced Theresa May.