14 Feb 2010

Obama won't bend on meeting Dalai Lama

7:29 am on 14 February 2010

United States President Barack Obama will meet the Dalai Lama next week, despite Chinese protests, says the White House.

The meeting - which was put off last year to avoid alienating Beijing - comes as the US seeks China's help in imposing tough new sanctions on Iran.

Mr Obama will host the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader in the Map Room at the White House, not in the highly symbolic Oval Office.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson has urged Mr Obama to immediately withdraw his decision to meet the Dalai Lama, warning it will further damage already strained Sino-US relations.