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Dalai Lama Meets Clinton,

Subject: Dalai Lama Meets Clinton,               Albright  


               Dalai Lama Meets Clinton,


               WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 (UPI) _ Continuing his effort to
encourage dialogue
               between Beijing and Tibet, President Clinton conferred
briefly with the dalai
               lama in advance of a slated meeting with Chinese President
Jiang Zemin next

               Clinton dropped by a meeting the exiled leader of Tibet had
at the White House
               today with first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. 

               Later, the dalai lama met with Secretary of State Madeleine

               After the White House meeting, the dalai lama said he wants
to speak privately
               with Chinese leaders about ways Tibet and China can coexist
in peace but he
               did not give Clinton any message to pass on to Jiang, who
the U.S. president is
               set to see at the APEC summit in Malaysia. 

               ``Public comment at this point won't help,'' he told

               ``Sometimes more open discussion is useful. Sometimes more
silence is useful,''
               he said. ``So I think it is better to remain low-key.'' 

               The dalai lama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for
his non- violent
               work to gain greater freedom for Tibet, was in Washington
seeking support for a
               new initiative he hopes will lead to talks with Chinese
leaders. Ultimately, he
               would like to see an agreement allowing more self-rule for
Tibet under Chinese
               sovereignty, and to visit the homeland he fled in 1959. 

               In a statement issued as he departed the White House, he
said he was grateful
               for Clinton's ``continued concern for the plight of the
Tibetan people and his
               efforts to encourage a negotiated settlement.'' 

               Beijing exercises tight control over Tibet but international
pressure has intensified
               on China to relax its grip and during Clinton's trip to
Beijing in June, Jiang stated
               he would be open to negotiation. 

               In the statement, the dalai lama said he did ``not wish to
make a unilateral
               statement without the opportunity of prior informal
consultation with the Chinese
               leadership. I believe such an informal consultation needs to
take place in order to
               forestall misunderstanding and to receive a positive
response from the Chinese

               Chinese officials have already reacted badly to reports
about the new proposal,
               voicing irritation that it was discussed publicly rather
than sent to Beijing quietly
               through the informal back channels that Chinese leaders

               Beijing says it will not recognize the dalai lama as a
religious leader of Tibetan
               Buddhists until he declares total allegiance to Beijing,
affirming that Tibet has
               always been an inseparable part of China. _- 

               Copyright 1998 by United Press International. 

               All rights reserved. _- 


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