Momentous progress between Tibet-US relations, says CTA after Sikyong’s historic visit to US State Department

CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay, Assistant Secretary Robert Destro, the US’ new Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues and Representative Ngodup Tsering pictured during the meeting.

DHARAMSALA, 16 Oct: A momentous progress between Tibet-US relations, says the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) commonly known as the Tibetan government in exile after the political head of the Tibetan people was formally invited to the headquarters of the US Department of State.

“This is the first time the CTA President was formally invited to the State Department for meetings, which marks a momentous progress between Tibet-US relations, ” reported, the official webpage of the CTA.

The report added that President(Sikyong) Sangay’s “inclusion into the physical building of the US State Department sends an emphatic acknowledgement by the US Government of the CTA and the leadership of Sikyong.

President Sangay said in a Facebook post after the meeting that “it was a great honour to meet with the Special Coordinator on Tibetan Issues Robert A Destro” and thanked the US State Department. 

“This is the first time in six decades, a Sikyong (President) of the CTA was formally invited inside the State Department. I want to thank the State Department for acknowledging the democratically elected leader of CTA and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for approving the visit. History is made today!”

President Sangay,  during his meeting with the newly appointed Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues,  has urged Destro to press the Chinese government to have dialogue between the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government based on the Middle Way Approach.

The political head of the Tibetan people, who was accompanied by Ngudup Tsering, the Representative of Office of Tibet, Washington DC has further apprised the US special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues on the “alarming worsening conditions of Tibetans in Tibet”  and extended an invitation to the Special Coordinator Destro to visit the CTA in Dharamsala, India. 

While the CTA welcomed and lauded the feat, it also maintained that after taking the oath of office in 2011, President Sangay’s cabinet(Kashag) has sent an official memo to the Office of Tibet in New York to explore the possibility of having Sikyong formally enter the US State Department.

“It took nine long years for the US State Department to realize the strategic importance of having the CTA President have formal meetings in the State Department similar to leaders of independent countries.”

The report further added that from 2011 to 2018, President Sangay and State Department officials “informally met at restaurants, where the existence of the meetings were kept undisclosed and photographs were not allowed,” and that in 2019, State Department officials became “increasingly amenable to publishing photo opportunities” and some officials started tweeting supportive comments about their meetings.

The US has announced the appointment of Assistant Secretary Robert Destro as the US’ new Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues on Thursday. His appointment was strongly objected by China. The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian called termed it a “political manipulation” meant to “interfere in China’s internal affairs and destabilize Tibet”. 

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