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Nepal, Bhutan agree to resume refugee talks

Publication Date : 04-10-2012


Bhutan has agreed to resume stalled meetings of the Ministerial Joint Committee (MJC) at the earliest to find a solution to the protracted problem of Bhutanese refugees in Nepal.

In a meeting on the sidelines of the 67th UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, Nepal's Deputy Prime Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Bhutanese Prime Minister Lyonchoen Jigmi Yoezer Thinley agreed to the resumption of processes, the Nepali mission to the UN said in a statement.

The two sides agreed to deepen and expand cooperation by seeking a mutually agreeable solution to problem of Bhutanese refugees, the statement added.

Nepal emphasised that Bhutan must come forward to resolve the refugee problem once and for all.

Deputy Prime Minister Shrestha also held a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and discussed the latest status of Nepal's polity and the peace and constitution drafting processes.

Shrestha said that the technical parts of the peace process, including the integration of former Maoist combatants, would be complete very soon.

He assured the Secretary-General that dialogue and consensus building endeavours were being pursued by political parties to provide a solution to all outstanding problems, said the statement.

The deputy prime minister appreciated the role played by the world body, particularly the United Nations Mission In Nepal (UNMIN), in the initial phase of the peace process.

The Secretary General, in turn, asked for Nepal's keen involvement in major development agendas being pursued by the UN.

Ban also thanked Shrestha for Nepal's continued professional contribution to UN peacekeeping missions.

Shrestha briefed Ban on the development of Lumbini and that the High-level Steering Committee for Lumbini Development was making all necessary endeavours to carry the project forward.

"In this respect, the support of the Secretary-General and his active participation in the international conference that will soon be organised in Lumbini would be invaluable," said Shrestha.


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