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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

The Dalai Lama Is Not a 'Call Girl'

OTTAWA -- When Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper tried to explain in a year-end interview why he would meet the Dalai Lama in his Ottawa office, it was clear that he wanted to show respect for the exiled Tibetan leader.

Unfortunately, it didn't quite come out that way.

"I met the Dalai Lama in my office, but I meet everyone in my office. I don't know why I would sneak off to a hotel room just to meet the Dalai Lama. You know, he's not a call girl," Harper told OMNI television.

He quickly added, "As I say, he's a respected international spiritual leader."

Harper's chief spokeswoman did not respond to a query as to whether the prime minister regretted his choice of words in the interview, which took place Tuesday but was embargoed until Thursday.

The Dalai Lama -- who fled his Buddhist homeland after an uprising against Communist rule -- was granted honorary Canadian citizenship in June.