ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The Tibetan people need the involvement of the U.S. government to help resolve recent conflicts between Chinese officials and anti-Beijing protesters in Tibet, the Dalai Lama said Monday.
"At this moment, we need your help," the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader said as he and Undersecretary of State Paula Dobriansky addressed reporters briefly before a closed-door meeting at the University of Michigan.
Dobriansky, who serves as special envoy for Tibet, said the meeting with the Dalai Lama provided a "timely opportunity" to discuss the conflict.
"The Bush administration has expressed concern about the situation in Tibet and has urged restraint," she said. "In particular, President Bush has been a steadfast supporter for the need for dialogue between His Holiness and Chinese leaders."
Dobriansky and the Dalai Lama have met more than 10 times since 2001, according to the State Department. They entered the room Monday holding hands, with the Dalai Lama saying, "I brought my longtime friend."
Demonstrators have disrupted legs of the Olympic torch relay in protest of China's treatment of the Dalai Lama's followers. He has denied Chinese claims that he and his followers have used the Olympics to foment unrest.
The Dalai Lama, who fled to India after a failed uprising in 1959 in Tibet, arrived in the United States on April 10.
He is scheduled to speak at Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y., on Tuesday and to return to India on Thursday.