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Dalai Lama White House Visit: Barack Obama Invites Spiritual Leader For Saturday Meeting

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has invited the Dalai Lama to the White House Saturday, making time for the Tibetan spiritual leader who is in Washington for an 11-day Buddhist ritual.

The president last met with the Nobel Peace laureate in February 2010, infuriating Chinese officials. China accuses the Dalai Lama of pushing for Tibetan independence.

Employing a low-key approach, the White House has set the meeting in the White House Map Room, not the Oval Office, which is reserved for visiting heads of state. The White House is keeping the meeting closed to the news media, as it did last year.

A White House official says Obama will urge that representatives of the Dalai Lama be allowed to engage with Chinese authorities and will call for the preservation of Tibetan culture.

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