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Dalai Lama seeks US help on Tibet issue

The Dalai Lama seeks the US help in resolving the vexed issue as the Bush administration presses China to open dialogue with the exiled spiritual leader.

world Updated: Apr 22, 2008 16:53 IST

The Dalai Lama has sought the US "help" in resolving the vexed Tibet issue as the Bush administration pressed China to open dialogue with the exiled spiritual leader.

"At this moment we need your help," the 72-year-old saffron-robed spiritual leader told US special envoy on Tibet Paula Dobriansky as they met in Michigan, adding that the issue of Tibet was "very significant."

Dobriansky said the meeting with the Dalai Lama provides a "timely opportunity" to discuss the situation in Tibet.

"The Bush administration has expressed concern about the situation in Tibet and has urged restraint," she said. "In particular, President (George W) Bush has been a steadfast supporter for the need for dialogue between His Holiness and Chinese leaders."

The State Department has not released details of the meeting, the first since massive anti-China protests rocked Tibet in mid-March, focusing global attention on the plight of Tibetans under the Chinese rule.

Soon after the 12th meeting between Dobriansky and the Dalai Lama since 2001, the US State Department asked China to resume dialogue with the spiritual leader, stressing that 1989 Nobel Peace Prize laureate was not seeking independence of Tibet, but talks to resolve outstanding issues on it.

"We'd certainly like to see that dialogue resume. As you point out, it is something that has gone on in the past and we think it's the best way to be able to manage and deal with the problems in Tibet," State Department Deputy Spokesman Tom Casey said.

"We want to hear from him about his ideas and what he believes might be the next appropriate steps in this," Casey said. "We are certainly going to, of course, also continue to have discussions with the government of China about this."