WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama will meet with Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Friday at the White House.
The White House says Obama is hosting the Dalai Lama in his capacity as a respected religious and cultural leader.
The Nobel laureate is famed for his peaceful struggle for greater Tibetan autonomy that China bitterly opposes.
White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden says the U.S. supports the Dalai Lama’s “middle way” approach. She says the U.S. recognizes Tibet as part of China and doesn’t support Tibetan independence.
But she says the U.S. is concerned about tensions and deteriorating human rights in China’s Tibetan areas. She says the U.S. will keep urging China to talk with the Dalai Lama without preconditions.
Obama met with the Dalai Lama in 2010 and 2011.