The Dalai Lama has arrived in Washington for a five-day visit, to meet with lawmakers and the State Department's new coordinator for Tibetan issues.
U.S. President Barack Obama is not scheduled to meet with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader during his visit. The Dalai Lama's top envoy defended that plan on Monday.
Envoy Lodi Gyari said the Dalai Lama will not be meeting with the president because they agreed they would meet after a U.S.-China summit in November. Gyari said the Dalai Lama hopes a cooperative U.S.-Chinese relationship will help support Tibet's interests.
A spokesman for the U.S. State Department Ian Kelly said Mr. Obama's decision not to meet with the Dalai Lama now does not signal a change in U.S. policy on Tibet. He also said the administration's newly named special coordinator for Tibetan issues, Maria Otero, will meet with the Tibetan spiritual leader this week.
Lama, when in 2007 he presented him the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award granted by the U.S. Congress.