Saturday, November 3, 2007

Repatriation and resettlement should begin together: PM (

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has urged the US government to ensure that resettlement and repatriation of the Bhutanese refugee begin at a time.

Koirala told visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration Ellen Saurbrey, during a meeting Saturday morning at Balutwar, that third-country resettlement was not a permanent solution of the refugee crisis.

According to a Baluwatar source, PM Koirala informed the US minister that Nepal was not, however, against the resettlement process but expressed concern regarding the future of those who do not want to go to the US.

Koirala also urged the US official to put pressure on Indian and Bhutanese governments for repatriation of Bhutanese refugees.

In response, Saurbrey assured to raise the issue with Bhutanese and Indian governments. She said her government would officially ask the two governments to take initiative for a solution of the protracted refugee crisis. Saurbrey had visited Bhutanese refugee camps in Jhapa.

She will fly to Thimphu on Sunday to discuss the refugee issue with the Bhutanese government. After that she will visit Delhi seeking India's role in solving the refugee crisis.

During her interaction with refugees in Jhapa camps on Friday, Saurbrey had assured to put pressure on Bhutan and Indian for early solution of the issue.

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