"I feel a little sad because I have paid my respects to several other Popes and I have been eager to meet him," the Nobel Peace laureate told a TV channel in Rome on Friday.

"But for now it's inconvenient, which is understandable. I don't want to make things more inconvenient. We share an interest in moral values, religious harmony, peace and relief for the poor. I admire him  (Pope Francis) - that's all," he said.

On being asked if in giving in to Chinese pressure to deny him a visa, the South African government had put business before values, Dalai Lama said, "Under a materialistic outlook a priority is placed on money."

"However, money is no guarantor of inner peace. When Archbishop Tutu invited me to his 80th birthday party, I wanted to go. I was also eager to see Nelson Mandela again, but I was unable to obtain a visa," he said.

Clarifying his stand on Tibet, he said, "The whole world knows I'm not seeking independence for Tibet. We are asking the Chinese government to implement certain rights already mentioned in the constitution. We have a right to preserve our rich Buddhist culture and language, while protecting our environment."

Asked what he missed most about Tibet, he said he considers himself a citizen of the world and as the Tibetan saying goes: "Wherever you experience kindness you can think of as home."

The elderly monk is in Rome to attend the 14th World Summit of Nobel Peace laureates, which was earlier scheduled in South Africa but cancelled in protest over denial of visa to him.

The Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama, whose shared concern for the poor and the downtrodden give them much common ground, would not meet.

The Dalai Lama was given the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his non-violent struggle for Tibet.

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