By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA) – A US foreign service officer with nearly 30 years of experience has been made Washington’s point person on the Tibet issue.
Uzra Zeya, under secretary for civilian security, democracy, and human rights, has been named special coordinator for Tibetan issues, said Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday.
Zeya will take on the role effective immediately, said Blinken in a statement. She has served in her current role at the State Department since July, but also held important posts under the Barack Obama administration.
Zeya will coordinate US government policies, programs, and projects concerning Tibetan issues.
"Specifically, she will promote substantive dialogue, without preconditions, between the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Dalai Lama, his representatives, or democratically elected Tibetan leaders in support of a negotiated agreement on Tibet," said Blinken.
The Dalai Lama is the head monk of Tibetan Buddhism.
Blinken said Zeya will also promote respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Tibetans, including their freedom of religion or belief, and will support efforts to preserve their distinct historical, linguistic, cultural, and religious heritage.
"This designation demonstrates the (Biden) Administration’s commitment to advance the human rights of Tibetans, help preserve their distinct heritage, address their humanitarian needs, and meet environmental and water resource challenges of the Tibetan plateau," Blinken added.
Zeya thanked Blinken on Twitter for his trust for assignment.
"Thank you @SecBlinken for entrusting me to be the U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues. I look forward to helping preserve the rich culture and traditions of Tibetans worldwide," she wrote.