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Dalai Lama has the right to visit wherever he wants to: US

November 10, 2009 02:05 IST

Amid objections raised by China over Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, United States on Monday said the spiritual leader has the right to visit wherever he wants to and talk to people.

"The Dalai Lama is primarily an internationally respected religious figure. And he, of course, has the right to go wherever he wants and talk to people that he chooses to talk to," State Department spokesman, Ian Kelly said.

On being asked about US position on Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, which is claimed by China as a disputed territory and contested by New Delhi as an integral part of India, Kelly said, "We just don't see it in any other way than that. We don't think we have a position, necessarily, on his decision to travel to this area."

Last week, a top US official had also supported Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh saying he was free to go anywhere as a religious figure.

"The Dalai Lama is a religious leader and he, of course, can travel to carry out that role," US Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero had told journalists in New Delhi.

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