McCain meets Dalai Lama, presses China on rights

ASPEN, Colo., July 25 (Reuters) - U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain urged China on Friday to address human rights concerns and free Tibetan prisoners after he met with the Dalai Lama in Colorado.

"I urge the Chinese leaders to engage in talks and make progress with his Holiness' representatives in addressing the just grievances of the Tibetan people," McCain said, with the Dalai Lama at his side.

"I urge the Chinese government to release Tibetan political prisoners, account for Tibetans that have 'disappeared' since the protests in March, and engage in meaningful dialogue and genuine autonomy for Tibet."

The exiled Tibetan leader said McCain had shown "genuine concern" for human rights, democracy and environmental concerns with regards to China.

McCain, an Arizona senator who sees foreign policy as a key strength in his quest for the White House, said the Dalai Lama's words were not an endorsement. (Reporting by Jeff Mason; editing by Todd Eastham)