Lalit K Jha
Washington | Oct 07: Terming as "inaccurate" reports that Barack Obama has postponed his talks with the Dalai Lama, the White House has said the US President holds the Tibetan leader in great esteem and insisted that a meeting was never on the cards during the Nobel laureate's current trip here.
It also said that a strong Sino-US relationship will help the cause of the Tibetan people.
"Tibetan people know that our strong relationship with China helps them," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters, as the mainstream US media tried to corner him on the issue of Obama postponing his meeting with the Dalai.
It has been a tradition since 1991 that the Tibetan spiritual leader meets the US President, whenever he visits Washington. This is for the first time since then that the US President is not meeting the Dalai during his Washington trip.
The US media has interpreted this as a change in the American policy towards Tibet and accused the Obama Administration of trying to appease the Chinese Government.
Both the Dalai Lama's special envoy and White House have refuted such reports and asserted that a meeting during the current trip of the Tibetan spiritual leader was never on the cards and it was decided long ago that the two leaders would meet after Obama's visit to China next month.