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McCain to Meet with Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama participates in a long life ceremony Thursday, July 24, 2008, in Madison, Wis.Tibetans are performing an elaborate Buddhist ritual to wish the Dalai Lama a long and happy life, at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis., where thousands of Tibetans now living in the U.S. and Canada have gathered. (Associated Press)

Updated 2:12 p.m.
By Robert Barnes
Sen. John McCain will have his own international summit -- of a sort -- tomorrow when he meets with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama is the keynote speaker at a three-day seminar at the Aspen Institute in Colorado that will bring together scholars, teachers and others to explore Tibet's history and culture. McCain already had a speech scheduled in Denver, and will then fly to Aspen for a private meeting with the leader.

"It came up because we arranged the meeting, mutually agreed to a meeting," McCain said after a lunch event at a German restaurant in Columbus. "I have been a great admirer of the Dalai Lama and I look forward to the opportunity of meeting an individual who is a transcendent international role model and hero and I have admired him and respected him for the efforts he's made on behalf of freedom of the people of Tibet but also all over the world."

McCain, as is the case with many American politicians, has been a strong critic of China's crackdown on human rights in Tibet, and suggested that President Bush consider boycotting the opening ceremonies of the Bejing Olympics next month (the president is going anyway).

McCain issued a statement in March saying the "unfolding tragedy in Tibet should draw the attention of the entire world" and called the Dalai Lama "a man of peace who reflects the hopes and aspirations of Tibetans."

By Web Politics Editor  |  July 24, 2008; 1:36 PM ET
Categories:  John McCain  
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