Richardson Meets With Dalai Lama

New Mexico – New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has met with the Dalai Lama to discuss the situation in Tibet.

In a statement released late Friday by the governor's office, Richardson says he believes there's a way for Tibetans to have "genuine autonomy."

China accuses Tibet's exiled spiritual leader of seeking independence from Beijing and objects whenever he meets a foreign leader. The Dalai Lama, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, insists he seeks only more autonomy to preserve the Himalayan region's unique Buddhist culture.

Richardson says they agreed the United States and other countries should continue pressing for a negotiated settlement for Tibet.

After the private meeting in Washington, D.C., the governor says he knows "the spirit of the Tibetan people remains strong."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.