Washington, Apr 26: The Bush Administration has hailed as ''a very encouraging step'' the reported Chinese statement that it has agreed to meet representatives of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. ''We would welcome the resumption of dialogue between China and representatives of the Dalai Lama as a way of addressing issues on both sides,'' State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told newsmen here yesterday.
China's official Xinhua News Agency quoted an unidentified official as saying April 24 that the Chinese government ''will have contact and consultation with Dalai's private representative in the coming days,'' in view of repeated requests by the Dalai Lama to resume talks.
Susan Stevenson, US Embassy spokeswoman in Beijing , said ''the US has long encouraged the Chinese to renew dialogue with the Dalai Lama and his representatives. So if the reports are true, we see this as a positive development.'' The reported offer to open talks came following anti-China protests in Tibet and other parts of the world at the time of the Olympic torch relay in preparation for the 2008 games in Beijing.
Many world leaders have called on China to have a dialogue with the Tibetan Buddhist leader.
Besides, China has been under pressure from the United States and European countries to have a dialogue with the Dalai Lama.