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Dalai Lama encourages 'self-confident' US global role

Published on Mar 7, 2014 2:46 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Dalai Lama on Thursday encouraged the United States to show self-confidence in defending democracy as top lawmakers rallied behind his calls to preserve Tibetan culture.

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, whose meeting on February 21 with President Barack Obama was condemned by China, returned to Washington where - for the first time - he delivered the customary prayer that opens each Senate session.

The Dalai Lama, who fled his Chinese-ruled homeland for India in 1959, later met congressional leaders and told them one of his main goals was "preservation of Tibetan culture." Offering advice as a "longtime friend" of the United States, the Dalai Lama said that he considered the nation to be "really a champion of democracy, freedom."

"These traditional values are, I think, very, very relevant in today's world. After all, you are the leading nation in the free world, So, (show) self-confidence," the Dalai Lama said.

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