Obama Ducks Tibet Controversy

Before departing Tokyo, President Obama will deliver an address on how the future of the United States is linked to Asia and the Pacific region - conspicuously leaving out any mention of Tibet.

Speaking to an audience of 1500, the President will touch upon many key issues, including nuclear disarmament, global warming and the global economy.

In a preview of the President’s speech, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said Mr. Obama would not mention the territory in his remarks but would discuss the United States’ “commitment to the rights and freedoms that we believe all people should have.”

President Obama was criticized by some for his refusal to meet with the spiritual leader of Tibet, the Dalai Lama, when he visited Washington, D.C. earlier this year. He became the first sitting president to do so in nearly two decades.

National Security Council Senior Director for East Asian Affairs, Jeffrey Bader, told reporters during a conference call earlier this week, that President Obama met with the Dalai Lama when he was a senator and is prepared to meet with him again at “the appropriate time.” Bader also went on to say that the Mr. Obama is expected to raise human rights concerns with President Hu when he meets with the Chinese leader on Tuesday.