McCain to Meet Friday in Colorado with the Dalai Lama

U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain has confirmed he will meet Friday in (the western state of) Colorado with exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

McCain confirmed the meeting as he campaigned in Columbus, Ohio, where he visited a neighborhood known as German Village. His Democratic rival, Barack Obama, was in the German capital, Berlin, to deliver a speech to thousands of people.

McCain told reporters he has been a great admirer of the Dalai Lama, describing him as a transcendent international role model and hero. Later in Columbus, McCain is to hold a town hall meeting on cancer, at a conference of the foundation of Lance Armstrong, a cancer survivor and seven-time Tour de France champion.

The veteran Arizona lawmaker also told reporters he is sorry that Congress is deadlocked on the issue of offshore drilling. He said drilling is a vital step in addressing the U.S. energy crisis. He also accused Obama of not having a clear understanding about what was and what is at stake in Iraq.

The Dalai Lama will be in Colorado to address a symposium on Tibetan culture.

Last October, Congress awarded the Tibetan spiritual leader its Gold Medal, at a ceremony that President George Bush attended.