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Obama to skip Tibet while talking about human rights in Asia

world Updated: Nov 14, 2009 11:26 IST

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US President Barack Obama would skip the mention of Tibet when he talks about human rights situation in Asia and the countries he is visiting on his maiden Asia trip, a US official has said.

"He (Obama) will not mention Tibet (in his speech). He will, of course, mention our commitment to the rights and freedoms that we believe all people should have, and I'll leave it at that," Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Advisor for Strategic Communications told reporters in Tokyo, where Obama is travelling right now.

Obama is scheduled to deliver a major policy speech on Asia when he addresses some 1500 people in Tokyo today.
Myanmar would also figure prominently in his speech, Rhodes said.

Traditionally Myanmar and Tibet have been the two major human rights issue for the US in the past several years.

After Obama did not meet the Dalai Lama, during the latter's recent visit to Washington, the first US President not to do so in more than a decade, his administration has been accused of downplaying the Tibet issue before his visit to China.

The White House, meanwhile, has denied this.

"I mean, all I would say is that we remain committed to the rights of Tibetan people to achieve their own human rights and their cultural identity.

Our position on that is very clear and very strong," Rhodes said.