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Obama to Meet With Dalai Lama After China Visit (Correct)

September 21, 2009

By Hans Nichols and John McCormick
(Corrects information about meeting decision in second paragraph.)

Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama will meet with the Dalai Lama
after the president's first visit to China in November, a White House
official said.

The Tibetan spiritual leader will not meet with Obama during his trip to
Washington in October, White House adviser Valerie Jarrett said in an
interview with Bloomberg News. The Dalai Lama is "looking forward to
visiting the president after the president's trip to China," she said.

China has criticized states that allow visits by the Dalai Lama, viewed by
the government in Beijing as a separatist leader who wants to divide the
country. Last month China reiterated its "resolute opposition" to his visit
to Taiwan for five days this month, saying it was "bound to have a negative
influence" on relations between the two governments, the state-run Xinhua
News Agency said Aug. 31.

Earlier this week, Jarrett met with the Dalai Lama at his headquarters in
Dharamshala, India, to brief him about the administration's approach to
Tibet.

Jarrett said in a statement she emphasized Obama's commitment to supporting
the Tibetan people and securing their human and civil rights. She also said
Obama commended the Dalai Lama for looking for a solution based on autonomy
within China.

The Dalai Lama expressed the hope the Tibetans may see progress in the
resolution of their differences with China during Obama's presidency,
according to the statement.

"We firmly oppose any foreign forces interfering in China's internal affairs
under the pretext of Tibet-related issues," China's Foreign Ministry
spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters on Sept. 15. "The U.S. side is well
aware of our position on this issue."

Every president since George H.W. Bush has sat down with the Dalai Lama,
frequently prompting criticism from the Chinese government. Obama met him
when he was still a U.S. senator, though he cited a scheduling conflict
during the presidential campaign for not meeting him last year.

Former President George W. Bush gave the Dalai Lama the Congressional Medal
of Freedom in October 2007.
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