(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama met with the Dalai Lama Saturday at the White House, despite objections from China.
Just like last year, the Dalai Lama came in and exited the White House through a door that is not accessible to reporters or cameras.
The meeting took place in the Map Room on the ground floor, rather than the Oval Office. No president has ever welcomed the Dalai Lama to the Oval Office due to protocol that only political leaders meet with the president there.
The Tibetan leader, in Washington for a Buddhist ritual, celebrated his 76th birthday on Wednesday.
There were questions about whether Obama would meet with the spiritual leader given China’s objections to his visiting the White House.
The White House says the president reiterated his strong support for the preservation of traditions of Tibet and the Tibetan people throughout the world. Representatives also said the Dalai Lama told Obama that he is not seeking independence for Tibet and hopes that talks between his representatives and the Chinese government resume.
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