Ahead of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, a top US official on Friady said he was free to go anywhere as a religious figure.
“The Dalai Lama is a religious leader and he, of course, can travel to carry out that role,” US under secretary of state for democracy and global affairs Maria Otero told journalists in the capital.
“He (Dalai Lama) is visiting a monastery, a holy place. And from our perspective, this is one of the roles that he plays,” she said when asked for her reaction to Chinese protest over the Tibetan leader’s visit to Tawang from Sunday.
Otero said US President Barack Obama would be visiting China this month and Tibet would certainly be one of the issues for discussion with the Chinese leaders.
“One could sense that this issue (Tibet) could be under consideration in some of those meetings with China,” she said to a query on Obama’s impending visit and if the Tibetan issue would be taken up then.
“But again, I cannot absolutely confirm how it is or what it is, but there is no doubt that this is an issue that we have. I certainly have been addressing it. I think that probably something that will emerge,” Otero, who is also the US special coordinator for Tibet, said.
“Tibet is very much symbolised by Dalai Lama. He is a person highly revered in the US and highly regarded as a religious leader…certainly his representation of Tibet. President Obama has a lot of respect and consideration for the Dalai Lama,” she added.