US lawmakers urge Obama to welcome Dalai Lama next month

China regards the Dalai Lama as a separatist and opposes his contact with any foreign leader.

Washington: US lawmakers have urged President Barack Obama to welcome the Dalai Lama at the White House when he visits next month.

Representatives of both parties made the appeal during a hearing on Thursday of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs also marked by stinging criticism of China.

Obama did not receive the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader when he visited Washington in October 2009, but did four months later, although in low-key fashion.

Committee chairperson, Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, described the White House`s treatment of the Dalai Lama as shameful.

She strongly encouraged Obama to "pay the proper respect that this leader deserves”.

China regards the Dalai Lama as a separatist and opposes his contact with any foreign leader.

Bureau Report

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