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US interest in Tibet 'strong'

November 18, 2009

News24.com
November 16, 2009

Rome (AFP) -- The Dalai Lama on Tuesday said he
recognised the US had a strong interest in Tibet
but added there were barriers to Washington
expressing its true feelings on the matter, news agency Ansa reported.

His comments came after US President Barack Obama
earlier on Tuesday addressed the issue of Tibet
with China's Hu Jintao, saying he backs an early
resumption of talks between Beijing and representatives of the Dalai Lama.

"It is clear that the interest of the White House
is very strong," said the exiled Tibetan
spiritual leader cited by Ansa during a trip to northern Italy.

"But it is also clear that there are certain
strong limits which prevent the US from expressing itself as it wishes."

"I very much appreciate the words of Barack Obama on Tibet," he added.

The Dalai Lama further urged world powers to
"push China in the direction of major democratic development".

"China is one of the most powerful nations in the
world and is the most populated. It cannot avoid
this process leading to more freedom and democracy."

"Even in China, people are starting to ask for more freedom of expression."

"The climate in China has changed in an important
fashion over the past 60 years and this change will continue," he added.

The Dalai Lama fled Chinese-ruled Tibet more than
50 years ago and is seen by Beijing as a
separatist seeking independence for his Himalayan
homeland - an accusation that the Buddhist monk has vehemently denied.

China has repeatedly said the door was always
open for dialogue with the Dalai Lama's
representatives, but so far sporadic talks since
2002 have failed to make progress.

The Dalai Lama arrived on Monday in northern
Italy and will visit Rome on Wednesday and Thursday.
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