Obama presses for human rights in Dalai Lama visit

WASHINGTON, July 16 Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:28pm EDT

WASHINGTON, July 16 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama underscored the importance of protecting human rights for Tibetans in China during a meeting with exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Saturday, the White House said.

Obama also reiterated the U.S. policy that Tibet is a part of China, the White House said in a statement.

"The president stressed that he encourages direct dialogue to resolve long-standing differences and that a dialogue that produces results would be positive for China and Tibetans," the White House said. (Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Bill Trott)