Dalai Lama not to meet Obama during US visit | india | Hindustan Times
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Dalai Lama not to meet Obama during US visit

india Updated: Sep 21, 2009 13:12 IST

Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, who left in Dharamsala on Monday for a 23-day visit to the US and Canada, won't be meeting US President Barack Obama, an aide said.

"His Holiness Dalai Lama this (Monday) morning left his residence for a 23-day scheduled visit to the US and Canada," said Tenzin Taklha, joint secretary at the Dalai Lama's office in Dharamsala, ending speculation that the two leaders would meet.

The Dalai Lama's tour begins and concludes in the US. In between, he would visit Canada for a few days.

"During his stay in the US, there is no scheduled meeting between the Dalai Lama and President Obama. He would meet Obama later sometime, after his visit to China in November," Takhla said, adding that "meeting President Obama after his China visit would be more fruitful and constructive".

Obama's top aides, including White House advisor Valerie Jarrett, were in Dharamsala last week to meet the Dalai Lama, Tibetan government-in-exile's prime minister Samdhong Rinpoche and other leaders.

The Dalai Lama's office said the officials were in Dharamsala to apprise the spiritual leader on the best way the US could assist in the resolution of the Tibetan issue.

"She (Jarrett) reiterated President Obama's commitment to support the Tibetan people in protecting their distinct religious, linguistic, and cultural heritage and securing respect for their human rights and civil liberties," the Dalai Lama's office said in a statement.

Officials in the Dalai Lama's office said the Buddhist monk apprised the US officials about the impasse on talks with the Chinese leadership on the future of Tibet and expressed his keenness to restart the dialogue process.

The Nobel laureate, along with many of his supporters, fled Tibet and took refuge in this Indian hill station in 1959. The Dalai Lama has ever since been heading the Tibetan government-in-exile from Dharamsala.