September 21, 2009

Tibet: Obama to Meet With Dalai Lama After China Visit

Active ImageThe Dalai Lama is ‘looking forward’ to meeting President Barack Obama following the President’s first visit to China in November 2009.

 

 

Below is an article published by Bloomberg:

 

President Barack Obama will meet with the Dalai Lama after the president’s first visit to China in November, a White House official said.


The Tibetan spiritual leader will not meet with Obama during his trip to Washington in October, White House adviser Valerie Jarrett said in an interview with Bloomberg News. The Dalai Lama is “looking forward to visiting the president after the president’s trip to China,” she said.


China has criticized states that allow visits by the Dalai Lama, viewed by the government in Beijing as a separatist leader who wants to divide the country. Last month China reiterated its “resolute opposition” to his visit to Taiwan for five days this month, saying it was “bound to have a negative influence” on relations between the two governments, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said Aug. 31.


Earlier this week, Jarrett met with the Dalai Lama at his headquarters in Dharamshala, India, to brief him about the administration’s approach to Tibet.


Jarrett said in a statement she emphasized Obama’s commitment to supporting the Tibetan people and securing their human and civil rights. She also said Obama commended the Dalai Lama for looking for a solution based on autonomy within China.


The Dalai Lama expressed the hope the Tibetans may see progress in the resolution of their differences with China during Obama’s presidency, according to the statement.


“We firmly oppose any foreign forces interfering in China’s internal affairs under the pretext of Tibet-related issues,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters on Sept. 15. “The U.S. side is well aware of our position on this issue.”
Every president since George H.W. Bush has sat down with the Dalai Lama, frequently prompting criticism from the Chinese government. Obama met him when he was still a U.S. senator, though he cited a scheduling conflict during the presidential campaign for not meeting him last year.


Former President George W. Bush gave the Dalai Lama the Congressional Medal of Freedom in October 2007.

 

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