The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has named Sarah Sewall, the undersecretary of State for civilian security, democracy and human rights, to also serve as special coordinator for Tibetan issues.

The announcement came the day when U.S. President Barack Obama met the Dalai Lama at the White House, defying warnings from China that the meeting with the Tibetan spiritual leader would cause “great damage” to bilateral ties.

According to the State Department, Ms. Sewall’s responsibilities will include working to promote substantive dialogue between the Chinese Government and the Dalai Lama or his representatives.

She will coordinate government’s policies, programmes, and projects on Tibetan issues globally, and particularly within the context of our bilateral relationships with China, India and Nepal, where there are significant populations of Tibetans, a statement said.

Ms. Sewall was sworn in as the Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights on February 20.

State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf said there was no change in the U.S. policy and America considers Tibet a part of the People’s Republic of China. “But we believe it’s important and urge the Chinese Government to resume dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representative to reduce tensions”.

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