Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has said that he is saddened by the resignation of Pope Benedict XVII.
The Dalai Lama extended solidarity to the pontiff, while praying for his good health on Thursday.
"Firstly (I am) little bit sad, I know him and he is a very intelligent one, but then naturally he is a religious practitioner, and in the meantime very intelligent. So his decision must be realistic, for the greater benefit to concern the people.
"So I pray his remaining life still will be very useful for all, remains a good example and his own practice I think there is no question- is very successful," said the Dalai Lama, on the sidelines of an event in Dharamsala.
Pope Benedict left the Vatican on Thursday and headed to the papal summer residence where he will become the first pontiff in six centuries to resign instead of ruling for life.
Cardinals will start preparatory meetings on Friday (March 1) to decide when to start a conclave to elect a new pope.
Benedict XVII is the first pope to leave his post in 600 years. (ANI)