China Warns Against Obama Meeting Dalai Lama
China warned against U.S. President Barack Obama meeting with the Dalai Lama, saying it could damage mutual trust on Tuesday.
The meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, will be closed-door to avoid angering China, who sees the Dalai Lama as a dangerous separatist.
President Obama has met with the Dalai Lama, a monk revered by Tibetans, multiple times and refers to him as "a good friend".
But China fears it will send the wrong message to Tibetans.
"If such meeting goes through, it will send a wrong signal to the separatist forces seeking Tibet independence and it will damage mutual trust and cooperation," China's foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters Wednesday.
Dialogue between the Dalai Lama and China’s central government stopped in 2010.
Tibetans re-elected their Prime Minister in May, and maintain hope that talks with China about a "middle way" that would give Tibet sovereignty can continue.
Yemeni Civilians Caught in Violence
Civilians continue to be severely affected by violence in the Yemeni city of Taiz, despite the cease-fire reached two months ago between warring parties, according to the medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières, or Doctors Without Borders.
Some of the fiercest fighting has taken place in densely populated parts of Taiz, including daily shelling, airstrikes, bomb blasts, land mine explosions and sniper fire, an MSF statement said Tuesday.
None of the warring parties appears to be trying to prevent casualties among civilians, the statement said.
MSF called for all parties in Yemen’s conflict to take greater measures to protect civilians, reduce the intense level of conflict and facilitate unrestricted humanitarian access in Taiz.
According to the latest figures released by the U.N. human rights office, more than 3,500 people have been killed and nearly 6,300 wounded in Yemen since the beginning of Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign against Houthi rebels about 15 months ago.
A report issued by the U.N. Children's Fund on March 29 put the number of children killed at 900 and the injured at 1,300 during the first year of fighting.