Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 1
The US is committed to advocate the autonomy of Tibet within China and to foster the middle way approach for a dialogue with Beijing as proposed by the Dalai Lama, the first-ever American Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues Robert Destro has said.
The US has followed up the appointment of the Special Coordinator on Tibet with the first-ever invitation to Tibetan President (in-exile) Lobsang Sangay to the US State Department.
“While they (China) have the right to criticise the meeting, we have the rights to have whatever meetings we want,” Destro said in response to China’s criticism of his meeting with Sangay in Washington.
Hours after the news of the meeting went viral on the front page of prominent newspapers, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian had said: “The Tibetan government-in-exile is a separatist political organisation with the agenda of pursuing Tibetan independence.”
In a transcript provided by the Dalai Lama’s office, Destro said he was amazed by the overwhelming response from the Tibetan community.
“One of the things that have been the most impressive for me in this position is the outpouring of support from the Tibetan community and the desire to engage. We have been reaching out and will continue to reach out into the Tibetan diaspora community around the world and see if we can really get to know people as quickly as we can,” he said.