CANBERRA, Australia - Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has not yet decided whether he will meet the Dalai Lama in Australia this month, the foreign minister said.
"That'll be a matter of the prime minister to determine on the basis of his diary arrangements," Foreign Minister Stephen Smith told Australian Broadcasting Corp. TV late Thursday.
The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader is scheduled to teach on Buddhism in Sydney for five days from Wednesday next week.
Meeting the Dalai Lama could anger China, one of Australia's most important trading partners.
China accuses the Dalai Lama of being a political activist campaigning for Tibetan independence and discourages world leaders from meeting him.
A Chinese-speaking former diplomat to Beijing, Rudd met the Dalai Lama in Australia a year ago as opposition leader. But the pair have not met since Rudd was elected prime minister in November.
Rudd is scheduled to fly to Japan at the weekend and return home on June 15, the last day of the Dalai Lama's Australia visit.
The prime minister provoked an official protest from Beijing earlier this year when he gave a speech in Washington calling on China to open a dialogue with the Dalai Lama in the interests of finding a peaceful resolution to unrest in Tibet.
Beijing's rule over Tibet came under the spotlight during anti-government protests in March that turned violent, prompting a crackdown by police and military.
China's government accused the Dalai Lama's government-in-exile in northern India of engineering the protests to agitate for independence and embarrass China ahead of the Beijing Olympics in August. The Nobel Peace laureate denies that charge.