Obama to meet Dalai Lama on Feb 18 despite China's opposition

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Washington, Feb 12(ANI): Despite China's strong opposition to US President Barack Obama meeting exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, next week, the White House has said the event will take place.

China's Foreign Ministry had earlier said that it was "resolutely opposed" to any meeting between Obama and the Dalai Lama, but White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the meeting is scheduled on February 18.

Responding to the White House announcement, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu reiterated their stand and said China has lodged a solemn representation with the US over the decision.

"China firmly opposes the Dalai Lama visiting the United States and US leaders' contacting with him," The China Daily quoted Ma, as saying in a statement.

Ma further said that China's position on the issue has been "consistent and clear".

"We urge the US side to fully understand the high sensitivity of Tibet-related issues, honor its commitment to recognizing Tibet as part of China and opposing 'Tibet independence'," he said. (ANI)

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