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Pope declines request to meet with Dalai Lama

Published:Saturday | December 13, 2014 | 9:50 AM

Pope Francis will not meet the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama because of what has been described as the delicate situation with China.

The Dalai Lama, who is visiting Rome, had requested a meeting.

But a Vatican spokesman says that although the Pope held him in very high regard, the request had been declined for obvious reasons.

Correspondents say the Vatican does not want to jeopardise efforts to improve relations with China.

China describes the Dalai Lama as a separatist and reacts angrily when foreign dignitaries meet him.

The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 after Chinese troops crushed an attempted uprising in Tibet.

A spokesman for the Dalai Lama said he was disappointed at not being able to call on His Holiness the Pope but he does not want to cause any inconvenience.

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Jamaica Gleaner

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