U.S. envoy to meet with Dalai Lama

14/04/2008 - 19:28

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States' special envoy for Tibet will meet the Dalai Lama next week while the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader is visiting the United States, U.S. officials said on Monday.

The get-together in Michigan on April 21 will be the 11thsuch meeting between U.S. official Paula Dobriansky and theDalai Lama, State Department spokesman Tom Casey said. He didnot expect Dobriansky to offer new initiatives at the meeting.

The United States says Chinese authorities should also meetthe Dalai Lama to discuss the situation in Tibet, where Chinacracked down on protests last month.

But U.S. officials have resisted pressure for a boycott ofOlympic ceremonies in China in August over Beijing's actions inTibet, saying they prefer to work through quiet diplomacy topressure the Chinese instead.

"They (Dobriansky and the Dalai Lama) are going to betalking about our view that the Chinese authorities ought toengage in a discussion with the Dalai Lama," Casey toldreporters.

"He's spoken ... about contacts that have occurred or areoccurring between some of his representatives and Chineseofficials. I'm sure we'll be interested in hearing about thatand any other thoughts and ideas he might have about thesituation there," Casey added.

The Dalai Lama fled into exile in India after a faileduprising against Communist rule in 1959, eight years after theChinese military marched in to annex Tibet.

(Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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