The Conversation: The Dalai Lama Visits the White House

As the Dalai Lama visits the White House today, we remember his previous visits

ByABC News
February 18, 2010, 2:55 PM

Feb. 18, 2010— -- President Obama welcomed the Dalai Lama to the White House today, in what has become a carefully balanced tradition for Presidents.

Over the years each U.S. president has had their own way of dealing with the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet's Buddhists, who have chafed under Chinese rule.

In 1991 President George H.W. Bush was the first to invite the Dalai Lama to the White House. The meeting came just two years after the crackdown at Tiananmen Square, so the White House would not even allow the meeting to be photographed for fear of antagonizing China.

In today's Conversation ABC's Sharyn Alfonsi looks back at the Dalai Lama's relationship with each President, with the help of ABC's Ann Compton. Who had the most public relationship with the Dalai Lama? How strict is protocol when it comes to having him in the White House? And what did Obama and the Dalai Lama discuss when they met?

All this and more in today's Conversation.

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