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Bush, Dalai Lama Discuss Human Rights, Further Dialogue With China - 2003-09-10


President Bush met Wednesday at the White House with Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. They talked about human rights and prospects for further dialogue between Tibet and China.

The Dalai Lama said the meeting with the president went well, as did his talks Tuesday with Secretary of State Colin Powell. "My meeting with the secretary, as with the president, was very useful," he said.

White House Spokesman Scott McClellan says they talked about the human rights situation in Tibet and the need to preserve Tibetan culture. He said President Bush also declared strong support for the Dalai Lama's commitment to dialogue with China.

"The president said he would seek ways to encourage China to continue the dialogue on a substantive basis, and expressed his hope that the Chinese government would respond favorably," he said.

The meeting with the Dalai Lama was a late addition to President Bush's public schedule, and was formally announced only one hour before it took place. The Nobel Peace Laureate is on a 21-day tour of the United States.

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