Refugees can resettle in US, says Sahana

Kathmandu, April 25:

Minister for Foreign Affairs Sahana Pradhan today said that the government has permitted the United States and other interested nations to resettle Bhutanese refugees in their countries though Nepal was still in favour of repatriation.

“We still believe that the Bhutanese refugees must be repatriated back to their home, but as it has been very long and even the donors are in mood to cut aid to them, we think the repatriation and resettlement should go hand in hand,” Pradhan said at her office after her meeting with the visiting Swiss diplomats.

She said Denmark was ready to take 200 Bhutanese refugees, and Australia and Canada, too, were interested to take some of them. Referring to her meeting with the Bhutanese foreign minister on the sidelines of the recent SAARC summit in New Delhi, Pradhan said: “Bhutan has said that it would think of repatriating the remaining refugees after many of them are resettled in the third countries.” She added that the government would also seek Indian government’s cooperation to begin the stalled dialogue and repatriate the refugees.

Two officials from the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration are in Kathmandu on a six-day visit.