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Obama Set to Welcome the Dalai Lama for Meeting at White House

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Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. President Barack Obama will welcome the Dalai Lama to the White House tomorrow, his third meeting with the 78-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader.

The visit is likely to again raise protests from China, as have the Dalai Lama’s previous meetings with U.S. government leaders. China accuses the Nobel Peace Prize winner of waging a campaign for independence for Tibet, while he says he is seeking its autonomy.

Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for Obama’s National Security Council, said the president would meet with the Dalai Lama “in his capacity as an internationally respected religious and cultural leader.”

The U.S. is “concerned” about tension and the human-rights situation in Tibetan areas of China, Hayden said in an e-mail.

The U.S. recognizes Tibet as a part of China and doesn’t support Tibetan independence and “supports the Dalai Lama’s ‘‘Middle Way’’ approach of neither assimilation nor independence for Tibetans in China,” Hayden said.

Obama previously met with the Dalai Lama in February 2010 and July 2011.

To contact the reporters on this story: Joe Sobczyk in Washington at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net; Mike Dorning in Washington at mdorning@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net

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