Deputy Prime Minister (DPM), Narayan Kaji Shrestha, has expressed that Bhutan must amicably resolve the longstanding refugee imbroglio by accepting those refugees who have declined to resettle in the west.
DPM Shrestha, who pledged to hold serious parleys with Prime Minister Jigmi Y Thinley on the sideline of the 67th UN General Assembly session underway in New York, reiterated Nepal’s desire to convince Bhutan to accept its exiled citizens back home.
Prior to his departure to New York Saturday, DPM Shrestha told mediapersons in Kathmandu that he would make a request with Bhutan to help amicably resolve the issue of the Bhutanese refugees.
“I will make a request with Bhutan to help amicably resolve the issue of Bhutanese refugees,” Shrestha told Republica, an English daily published from the Nepalese capital.
DPM Shrestha mentioned that around 14,000 refugees have declined third-country resettlements, demanding that they be repatriated to Bhutan with dignity.
“The bilateral relation that has a huge prospect is now at a standstill situation due to longstanding refugee problem. This needs to be resolved amicably,” he said.
Bhutan is scheduled to make official request to Nepal to support its bid for non-permanent member of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) during the meeting.
Nepal is likely to positively respond to Bhutan’s request if Bhutanese side agrees to help resolve the protracted refugee problem that has remained the only irritating factor between the relation of the two countries, sources said.