Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, says he welcomes China's offer to hold talks with his envoys, but only if the talks are serious.

The exiled Buddhist leader was questioned about China's recent statement in New Delhi Saturday. He said he welcomed the prospect of discussions about problems in Tibet.

It would be the first such meeting since violent protests in Tibet last month. China said Friday that its officials have agreed to meet with the Dalai Lama's representatives.

Also Friday, Tibetan exile prime minister Samdhong Rinpoche said the Tibetan government-in-exile maintained contacts with China throughout the protests. But he said formal resumption of talks require the situation in Tibetan areas of China to return to normal.

U.S. and European leaders welcomed the announcement of China's willingness to meet a private representative of the Tibetan spiritual leader.

The Chinese government has not released details on the expected meeting. A report by China's state-run Xinhua news agency says officials agreed to the meeting in response to requests from the Dalai Lama.

The Chinese officials said they hope dialogue will push the Dalai Lama to stop inciting violence in China and sabotaging the Beijing Olympics. The Dalai Lama says he is opposed to violence, and that he does not want to disrupt the Olympics. He has also denied that he is seeking to separate Tibet from China, and says he only wants autonomy for the region.

Tibet's government-in-exile says more than 150 people died in a Chinese crackdown on Tibetan protests since mid-March. China blames Tibetan rioters for the deaths of at least 20 people.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.