Prime Minister John Howard has finally had his much anticipated meeting with the Dalai Lama.
The two men held their talks this afternoon at the prime minister's Sydney office.
John Howard shared a humorous moment with the Dalai Lama during their much anticipated meeting today at the PM's Sydney offices.
As Mr Howard attempted to usher his celebrated guest through a door of his office for the pair's closed meeting, both refused to enter before the other.
"You go first," said the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader, resisting Mr Howard's entreaties and gesturing towards the door.
"Guests always go first," said Mr Howard.
"No, you first," said the guest.
"No, no, guests always go first," said the PM.
"We'll go together," said the Dalai Lama.
"No, it's too hard," Mr Howard said.
Eventually, Mr Howard had his way, with his guest leading him into the office for talks lasting about 20 minutes, which China had warned could damage Australia's relations with Beijing.
Mr Howard had been checking his diary for more than a month before his office finally confirmed on Tuesday that a meeting time had been found.
That led to the warning from Beijing, which regards the Dalai Lama as a separatist activist.
During an earlier press conference today, Mr Howard was asked whether he would seek any spiritual guidance from his holiness.
"I'm always happy to meet significant international figures and we will discuss matters temporal as well as spiritual," Mr Howard told reporters.
Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd met the Dalai Lama on Tuesday.