Dalai Lama hints at EU-like arrangement for Tibet, China

The Dalai Lama has praised the European Union for preserving national cultures while pursuing collective goals, suggesting it could be a model for Tibet within China.

On a tour of Europe, the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader said Thursday: "We are very much impressed by the spirit of the European Union - independent, sort-of sovereign states" in which "the common interest is more important."

It was rare praise for a bloc struggling for unity after Britain's vote to leave.

The Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile are seeking autonomy for Tibet but not independence.

"We happily join or remain within the People's Republic of China provided they must respect our unique culture including language," he said in Strasbourg at the Council of Europe, the continent's human rights authority.