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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

US names new coordinator for Tibet

October 5, 2009

AFP - October 1, 2009

WASHINGTON - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday named a new
coordinator for Tibet tasked with promoting dialogue between China and
representatives of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader.

Clinton announced that Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global
Affairs Maria Otero will also serve as special coordinator for Tibetan
issues for President Barack Obama's administration, the State Department
said.

"Otero will coordinate the US government's policies, programs and projects
on Tibetan issues within the context of our bilateral relationship with the
People's Republic of China," it said in a statement.

Her appointment was announced the same day as China -- which sent troops
into Tibet in 1950 and crushed protests there last year -- celebrated 60
years of communist rule and received congratulations from Clinton on the
occasion.

"She will seek to foster an environment to promote substantive discussion
between the Dalai Lama's representatives and the Chinese government, as well
as support initiatives to help safeguard Tibet's unique culture," it added.

China said last month it "firmly opposed" any meetings between foreign
officials and the Dalai Lama, after top Obama aides met the Tibetan
spiritual leader in India.

Beijing also issued a veiled warning to the White House against an eventual
meeting between Obama and the Buddhist monk, seen by China as a "splittist"
seeking independence for Tibet despite his calls for regional autonomy.

Aides to the Dalai Lama then said the spiritual leader would not meet Obama
on a planned visit to Washington in October, which prompted Tibetan prime
minister-in-exile Samdhong Rinpoche to accuse the United States of
appeasement.

In the previous administration of president George W. Bush, the Under
Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs, Paula Dobrianksy, also served
concurrently as special coordinator for Tibet.
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