Dharamsala : US President Barack Obama held private talks with the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at the white house in Washington late Saturday, a move that has angered China.
The Tibetan government in exile issued a statement here at the seat of the Tibetan government in exile saying the meeting stressed the need to â€œencourage direct dialogue to resolve long-standing differences between China and the Tibetans.â€
At the end of the 45 minute meeting the white house issued a statement, â€œThe President reiterated his strong support for the preservation of the unique religious,cultural and lingustic traditions of Tibet and the Tibetan people throughout the world.â€
â€œHe underscored the importance of the protection of human rights of Tibetans in China.â€
The President commended the Dalai lamaâ€™s commitment to non violence and dialogue with China and his pursuit of the â€˜middle wayâ€™ approach.
Speaking to reporters after his meeting with President Obama, the Dalai Lama said the President showed concern about human rights and freedom.
â€œNaturally he showed genuine concern about suffering in Tibet and other places,it was wonderful,â€ the spiritual leader was quoted as saying.
China had warned the US not to meet the Dalai Lama whom they see as a seperatist.
Beijing reacted harshly after the meeting,â€œSuch an act has grossly interfered in Chinaâ€™s internal affairs,hurt the feelings of Chinese people and damaged Sino-US relations,â€ a spokesman of the Chinese government said.
The Dalai Lama has been living in Dharamsala in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh after he fled Tibet following a failed a coup against communist China in 1959.