Tibetans welcome President Obama's decision to meet Dalai Lama

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Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh) Feb 12 (ANI): The Tibetan Government-in-exile on Friday hailed United States President Barack Obama' decision to meet their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama in a bid to resolve the issue of Tibet.

Despite China's strong opposition to the meeting between the two leaders, 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.

Tibetan Government in-exile spokesperson Thubten Samphel, said they are not bothered about the outcome, but appreciate the initiative.

"Whatever the outcome, the fact that this meeting is taking place despite loud protest from China, its good for us, its encouraging certainly for Tibetans in Tibet and certainly for us. It is an indication that the United States takes very seriously that the issue of Tibet is resolved with China government," Samphel said.

China has become increasingly vocal in opposing meetings between foreign leaders and the Dalai Lama, who Beijing deems a dangerous separatist.

Strains over the Dalai Lama meeting and other issues have raised worries that China might retaliate by obstructing U.S. efforts in other areas, such as imposing tougher sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme. (ANI)

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