Pope John Paul has met in the Vatican with Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
A Vatican spokesman says Thursday's meeting focused strictly on religious matters.
Observers say the Vatican kept the talks to religion so as not to hurt relations with China, whose government opposes any talks on Tibetan issues.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the Dalai Lama said the international community should befriend China, a development he said would help the Tibetan cause.
Tibet's spiritual leader said he wants greater autonomy for his homeland, which has been occupied by China since 1951.