Shimla: US Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer, who is on a two-day visit here, held closed-door talks with the exiled Tibetan leader Dalai Lama at his Meclodgnaj residence this morning.
The meeting, which took place at the official residence of the Tibetan leader at around 10a.m, lasted for about an hour. Roemer described the meeting with the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, as being “the first time in many years” by a US ambassador and said they held a very good discussion about several important issues. “I came here to this great place to meet with this very respected and holy man and as a spiritual and religious leader in the world, on a trail of many other high-level United States officials who have come up here to show their respect to His Holiness,” Roemer said.
When asked what transpired during the meeting, Roemer said dialogue process between Beijing and the Tibetan leader’s envoys, which after the ninth round of talks held in January last year came to a standstill, were among the many important issues that were discussed. “There are many important issues to talk to His Holiness about; certainly underscored as president Obama did when Chinese President Hu visited the United States last month that human rights in areas of Tibet continue to be a very important issue for the United States. And, also that as the president (Obama) did to President Hu, encourage the Chinese officials to continue their substandard dialogue on longstanding issues with the representatives of His Holiness. These are important issues,” Roemer said.
“The talks were most engaging and most productive” he added. Roemer, who arrived in Dharamsala along with his wife, inaugurated the Tibetan Reception Centre located at Khaniyara village yesterday. Roemer said the US government has provided 60 to 65% of the total cost of the reception centre as part of its efforts to support the Tibetan refugees. Earlier this morning, the US ambassador and his wife Sally visited the Upper Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) School, which is the largest Tibetan residential school of its kind in India.