The United States says that it hopes the two visits of the Dalai Lama’s envoys to China would result in a process that would lead to substantive dialogue and resolution of the Tibetan problem. Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman of the Department of State, said on August 28, 2003 that the United States encourages such a development.
Responding to media inquiries concerning possible meetings with Administration officials when the Dalai Lama visits Washington, D.C. in September, Reeker said at the daily press briefing that “he will meet with appropriate U.S. officials.” Reeker recalled that both President George Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell had met with the Dalai Lama during his 2001 visit to Washington, D.C.
August 28, 2003 was the last briefing by Reeker in his capacity as the deputy spokesman of the State Department. Following is the full text of Reeker’s response to the question on Tibet.
Daily Press Briefing
Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman
August 28, 2003
Question: Can you confirm the upcoming meeting between the Secretary and Dalai Lama? And also, the Chinese Government has opposed this any meeting between administration officials and Dalai Lama. Are you going to go ahead anyways?
Mr. Reeker: I don’t have any details on schedules at all. The Dalai Lama, who is a Nobel Laureate and revered religious leader, will be in Washington, I understand, for events surrounding the second anniversary of the September 11 attacks — so in the next couple of weeks. Like I said, I don’t have any details to give you on his schedule at this time. When he visited I think, most recently, in 2001, the Dalai Lama did meet both with the President and Secretary Powell, and obviously on this trip he will meet with appropriate U.S. officials in his capacity as a religious leader.
I think I would just add that we have certainly been encouraged by the two visits of the Dalai Lama’s special envoys to China over the past year and we hope that that process can lead to substantive dialogue and resolution of longstanding areas of difference. We certainly encourage that.