Obama Delays Meeting with Dalai Lama

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In hopes of improving relations between China and the U.S., President Barack Obama has delayed this week's meeting with Tibet's Dalai Lama.

The president will be meeting with the exiled Buddhist leader after he meets with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing in November.

Obama's decision cast a shadow over this week's visit by the Dalai Lama, who will instead be received by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Maria Otero, the U.S. special coordinator for Tibetan issues.

The Dalai Lama's trip comes at time when the U.S. is hoping to gain China's support on important foreign policy matters -- such as nuclear weapons proliferation in Iran and North Korea -- as well as economic and environmental goals. 

China has had a less-than-cordial relationship with the Buddhist leader, calling him a "wolf in monk's robes" for seeking to cut Tibet off from the rest of China.

However, the Dalai Lama maintains that his only goal is to obtain autonomy for the people of Tibet.

An envoy for the Dalai Lama has sought to cast a positive light on the situation, saying there "has been no question of President Obama not, at the appropriate time, meeting His Holiness."

He added that the Dalai Lama had agreed to the delay in hopes that a cordial U.S.-China relationship might aid in resolving Tibet's grievances.

The Washington Post reports that one U.S. official told a Tibetan representative that "this president is not interested in symbolism or photo ops but in deliverables. He wants something to come out of his efforts over Tibet, rather than just checking a box."

The Dalai Lama is scheduled to receive a human rights award Tuesday in memory of the late Rep. Tom Lantos.

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