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Obama to encourage China, Dalai Lama to talk

world Updated: Feb 17, 2010 18:06 IST

US President Barack Obama would encourage both the Chinese leadership and the Dalai Lama to continue to talk.

"The President would simply encourage the two parties to continue to talk," said White House Press Secretary Robert
Gibbs, when asked about the Thursday's meeting between Obama and the Tibetan spiritual leader.

This is the first meeting between the two leaders.

Gibbs said readout would be provided after the two leaders meet in the Maple Room of the White House on Thursday

China has asked the United States to cancel the meeting observing that such a meeting would hit the bilateral ties
between the two countries.

However, the Obama Administration has ignored all such statements coming from Beijing.

Welcoming Thursday's meeting, the Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) has said this is an
opportunity for both to deepen their relationship and discuss forward steps in US support for the Dalai Lama's leadership and his approach of seeking a solution for Tibet through dialogue with China.