Dalai Lama to give Senate prayer Thursday

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The Dalai Lama is slated to give the opening prayer on the Senate floor Thursday, a Senate aide confirmed. 

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Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez also said he and his committee would host the Dalai Lama on Thursday afternoon. He is expected to meet with House leaders as well.  

Senate Chaplain Barry Black usually opens the Senate session with a prayer. 

The Dalai Lama has been in the United States for a few weeks. He met with President Obama last month and has given a series of media interviews. 

China had strongly condemned the White House meeting with the exiled leader and said it would severely harm relations between the two countries. But the White House downplayed the warning and said it was concerned about tensions and human rights issues in Tibetan areas of China. 

During the meeting, Obama reiterated the United States’s position against an independent Tibet, but encouraged dialogue between the two countries. 

“The President commended the Dalai Lama’s commitment to peace and nonviolence and expressed support for the Dalai Lama’s 'Middle Way' approach,” the White House said in a readout of the meeting. 

The two have met a total of three times with the last coming in 2011.  

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