Washington (CNN)President Barack Obama will appear at a public event next week that the Dalai Lama is also attending, a move that is likely to anger Chinese officials.
Prayer breakfast headliners: Obama, Dalai Lama
Obama will address attendees about the importance of religious freedom on Feb. 5 at the annual National Prayer Breakfast. The Dalai Lama, arguably the most visible symbol of Tibet's struggle for independence, has also been invited.
The White House declined to say whether the two leaders will meet at the event, though National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan pointed out that the two leaders have met three times before, most recently last February.
"The President is a strong supporter of the Dalai Lama's teachings and preserving Tibet's unique religious, cultural and linguistic traditions," Meehan said. " As he has done in the past, the President will see many religious leaders at the event, but we don't have any specific meeting with the Dalai Lama to announce."
The Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his advocacy for Tibet in the country and around the world.
Tibetans have continued to advocate for more autonomy and independence from the Chinese government, which continues to rule the region.