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Presdient Obama to meet Dalai Lama

india Updated: Feb 02, 2010 15:27 IST
Gaurav Bisht

Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader Dalai Lama would meet United States President Barack Obama, next month when he visits Washington. A previous scheduled meeting between the two leaders was put off last year, allegedly due to Chinese pressure.

Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama will be visiting Washington next month after celebrations of Losar - Tibetan New Year. During his 10-day tour commencing on February 14 the spiritual leader would meet all the important leaders to kobby the case of Tibet and also attend religious conferences.

Highly placed sources in Tibetan administration told Hindustan Times that there is strong possibility that 75-year-old Dalai Lama will meet United States President Barack Obama. It is learnt the White House administration, few days ago conveyed to Dalai Lama’s representative in Washington Lodhi Gyari about Obama’s willingness to meet the spiritual leader. LodhiGyari, Dalai Lama’s special envoy, is holding talks with China for resolution of Tibetan issue since resumption talks in 2002.

Dalai’s meeting with Obama, though not officially confirmed but sources say that if things go smoothly two leaders will meet in Washington on February 18. “ We are hopeful that meeting would take place but date is yet to be finalized” confirmed Tenzin Taklha, Dalai Lama’s private secretary, adding “ His Holiness ( Dalai Lama’s ) meeting with United States President had been postponed last year”

Last September a high level team of United States officials led by Valerire Jerret, senior presidential advisor had visited Dharamshala, to request the Dalai Lama not to visit Washington, DC before Obama's maiden visit China last November. US Officials during their visit had assured Dalai Lama about Obama’s commitment to Tibetan cause. The American delegation conveyed to the Tibetan leader that US President Obama would meet the Dalai Lama after his visit to China.

Dalai Lama, who escaped to India, after failed uprising against Chinese troops in 1959, seeks substantial autonomy for China-controlled Tibet. He is likely to discuss the Tibetan issue with United states leaders. He will also meet United States Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Apart from this he will call on Maria Otero, the Undersecretary for Democracy and Global Affairs and his special coordinator on Tibetan affairs.