Obama Aide Meets With Dalai Lama in India

A high-level delegation representing U.S. President Barack Obama has met with the Dalai Lama ahead of the Tibetan leader's scheduled trip to the United States next month.

The Dalai Lama's spokesman Tenzin Taklha said the group met Monday at the headquarters of the Tibetan government in exile in Dharamsala, India.

The U.S. delegation was led by Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser and assistant to the president for public engagement and intergovernmental affairs.

The Dalai Lama's office said in a statement that Jarrett reiterated President Obama's commitment to support the Tibetan people in protecting their distinct heritage and securing respect for their civil liberties.

China considers the Dalai Lama a separatist and disapproves of him meeting with foreign governments. The Tibetan spiritual leader has said he hopes to see Mr. Obama when he visits New York and Washington in about three weeks October 4-9.

Jarrett and the senior U.S. diplomat accompanying her State Department Undersecretary for Democracy and Global Affairs, Maria Otero, are the highest-level U.S. officials to visit the Tibetan center in India's Himalayan region since March 2008. The speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, traveled to Dharamsala last year just weeks after major protests in Tibet and a crackdown there by Chinese authorities.

Jarrett and Otero met with the prime minister of the Tibetan government in exile, Samdhong Rinpoche, on Sunday, but no details of their talks