After his meeting with the Pope on Thursday, Tenzing Gyatso, the Dalai Lama, told journalists that one reason for his visit was to express to the Holy Father his "admiration for what he had done for peace and religious harmony in the world."
In an interview with Vatican Radio, the Buddhist leader also addressed the thorny question of the annexation of Tibet by China in 1959, an invasion that forced him to go abroad.
"China is the nation with the largest population," he said. "It has a long history and a great cultural heritage. Because of this, it merits an important role. We must trust and respect China, and this way her behavior will be more reasonable."