The Dalai Lama on Tuesday admitted that the US had a strong interest in Tibet but added there were barriers to Washington expressing its true feelings on the matter, news agency ANSA reported.
His comments came after US President Barack Obama earlier in the day addressed the issue of Tibet with China's Hu Jintao, saying he backs an early resumption of talks between Beijing and representatives of the Dalai Lama.
"It is clear that the interest of the White House is very strong," said the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader cited by ANSA during a trip to northern Italy.
"But it is also clear that there are certain strong limits which prevent the United States from expressing itself as it wishes."
"I very much appreciate the words of Barack Obama on Tibet," he added. The Dalai Lama further urged world powers to "push China in the direction of major democratic development.
"China is one of the most powerful nations in the world and is the most populated. It cannot avoid this process leading to more freedom and democracy."
"Even in China, people are starting to ask for more freedom of expression." "The climate in China has changed in an important fashion over the past 60 years and this change will continue," he added.
The Dalai Lama fled Chinese-ruled Tibet more than 50 years ago and is seen by Beijing as a separatist seeking independence for his Himalayan homeland -- an accusation that the Buddhist monk has vehemently denied. (AFP)