Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama met with former US President Barack Obama in private in New Delhi on Friday.
The Dalai Lama flew out from Dharamshala earlier in the morning and returned after meeting Obama for about an hour. The meeting took place at the request of the Dalai Lama, since due to his advancing age he has been advised to refrain from long travels.
The two discussed promotion of peace and oneness of the human family.
Responding to queries from the press at the Gaggal airport after returning from the meeting, the Dalai Lama said, “It was a very good meeting. I felt like a reunion of two old trusted friends.”
“I mentioned to him, we need promotion of sense of oneness. There is too much division [in the world today].”
He had urged Obama to initiate meetings of Nobel laureates to effect changes for a better future in the world.
Obama is on a three-nation tour that also includes China and France. In China, Barack Obama met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday in Beijing, where Xi praised the former US president for the way he developed the relationship between their two countries during his term as President of the US.
The meeting was part of Obama’s first trip to Asia since leaving office, and came weeks after Xi hosted US President Donald Trump. Prior to this, Obama has hosted events with young leaders in Germany, Indonesia, and Brazil.
During a town hall event in Delhi today, Obama said, “I will be out there advocating on behalf of doing something about climate change and inequality, and fighting against the forces of discrimination and racism.”
In his eight-year presidency, Obama had hosted the Dalai Lama in the White House four times, beginning in February 2010. Their first meeting was in September 2005 when Obama was a member of the Senator Foreign Relations Committee.
The two had previously met in Washington, with strong objections from the Chinese government. China routinely denounces meetings between foreign leaders and the exiled Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, considering him a separatist.
Throughout his presidency Obama told the Dalai Lama that he encourages dialogue with China.