Tibet to take centre stage in Dalai-Obama meet

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Stage set for Dalai Lama-Obama meeting
Washington, Feb 18: Defying the repeated warnings from China, US president Barack Obama is all set to meet the Dalai Lama on Thursday, Feb 18, as the Tibetan spiritual leader landed here to seek US' support for the Tibetan cause.

The state department announced that, besides meeting the president, the Tibetan leader will also be meeting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Dalai Lama's Special Envoy, Lodi Gyari, said that the two world leaders and Nobel Peace Prize Laureates will also discuss global matters.

"His Holiness will be asking the President to help find a solution in resolving the Tibet issue that would be mutually beneficial to the Tibetan and Chinese people," Gyari said in a statement.

Dalai Lama arrived here on Wednesday, Feb 17 afternoon.

Recognising his work for democracy and human rights, US will be awarding Dalai Lama with an award too.

The meeting is set to take place despite the opposition from China. China issued two warnings to US stating that the US president meeting the exiled leader would have an adverse effect on the bilateral ties.

Speaking on this, State Department Acting Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner said, "Our relationship with China is diverse and there are a lot of issues. There's common ground. It's a complex relationship. There are areas where we agree on. There are areas where we disagree on."

"We are going to continue to pursue that relationship vigorously, while at the same time recognising, for example, the Dalai Lama, that he's a respected cultural and religious figure and, as with past presidents, we intend to meet with him," he added.

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