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Bush phones Dalai Lama

india Updated: Sep 24, 2008 20:12 IST
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US President George W Bush telephoned the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and discussed a range of issues besides enquiring about his health.

"President Bush's phone call reflected the great esteem he (Bush) and the American people have for the Dalai Lama," Chhime R Chhoekyapa, secretary to the Nobel laureate, told IANS Wednesday.

"The phone call came in (Tuesday) evening. The Dalai Lama was to meet Bush earlier this month in Washington. Since he had to cancel the trip because of ill health, Bush asked him about his health," he said.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet and took refuge in India when Chinese troops took control of Lhasa in 1959. He now heads a Tibetan government-in-exile here that is not recognised by any country.