February 6, 2015 / 7:24 AM / 5 years ago

China says against foreign countries receiving Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama waves towards the head table, where U.S. President Barack Obama was seated, during the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, February 5, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday it was opposed to foreign countries receiving the Dalai Lama, after U.S. President Barack Obama warmly acknowledged the Buddhist religious leader, but did not meet him directly, at a prayer event in Washington.

Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks in a daily briefing, adding that China was against other countries interfering in its internal affairs.

Obama and the Dalai Lama were at an annual prayer breakfast in Washington on Thursday where Obama spoke about the importance of religious freedom.

Last February, Obama held low-key talks in Washington with the Nobel Peace laureate, whom China considers a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”. The talks greatly angered Beijing, which had warned they would damage ties.

Reporting by Michael Martina Writing by Megha Rajagopalan; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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