President Barack Obama met with the Dalai Lama this morning (June 15, 2016), marking the fourth time the two Nobel Peace Prize Laureates have met at the White House since Obama took office. President Obama expressed support for the Dalai Lama’s Middle Way Approach during their discussion, and encouraged direct dialogue between the Dalai Lama and his representatives and Chinese authorities.
The following is the official White House readout of their meeting:
The President met today with His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama.
The President accepted the Dalai Lama’s condolences for the shooting in Orlando, Florida on June 12 and commended the Dalai Lama for his efforts to promote compassion, empathy, and respect for others. The President and the Dalai Lama discussed the situation for Tibetans in the People’s Republic of China, and the President emphasized his strong support for the preservation of Tibet’s unique religious, cultural, and linguistic traditions and the equal protection of human rights of Tibetans in China. The President lauded the Dalai Lama’s commitment to peace and nonviolence and expressed support for the Dalai Lama’s “Middle Way” approach.
The President encouraged meaningful and direct dialogue between the Dalai Lama and his representatives with Chinese authorities to lower tensions and resolve differences. In this context, the President reiterated the longstanding U.S. position that Tibet is a part of the People’s Republic of China, and the United States does not support Tibetan independence. The Dalai Lama stated that he is not seeking independence for Tibet and hopes that dialogue between his representatives and the Chinese government will resume. The President and the Dalai Lama agreed on the importance of a constructive and productive relationship between the United States and China.
The President welcomed the Dalai Lama’s leadership on climate change issues, and expressed support for the Dalai Lama’s efforts to raise awareness of the importance of limiting global warming, including to protect the Himalayan glaciers and the environment on the Tibetan plateau.