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Nov 06, 2009 at 03:52pm IST

Visit to Tawang part of Dalai Lama's duties

New Delhi: United States sees no problem with the visit of the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh, an Indian province which is also claimed by China, a senior American diplomat said in New Delhi on Friday.

"Dalai Lama is a religious leader. He is visiting the (Tawang) monastery. From our perspective, that is one of the roles that he plays," US under secretary for democracy and global affairs Maria Otero told reporters.

China had raised strong objection to the visit of Dalai Lama, who has been staying in India for last 50 years, to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. A Chinese government spokesperson had said that Dalai Lama was trying to create differences between India and China.

NO SIN: Dalai Lama's visit to Tawang monastery is in order as he is a religious leader, says US.

Otero is here to participate in the annual US-India global issues forum, whose meeting she co-chaired with foreign secretary Nirupama Rao on Thursday. She is also the special coordinator on Tibetan affairs.

Otero said that during the visit of US President Barack Obama's special envoy Valerie Jarett to Dharamsala in September, the Dalai Lama had been invited to meet Obama.

"We are still working out the dates but the meeting will be this year," said Otero.

The Obama administration had been criticised after the US president failed to meet the Tibetan religious leader during the latter's visit in October. It is expected that President Obama will meet the Dalai Lama only after his China tour this month.