Nepal hosted over 100,000 Bhutanese refugees since early 1990s in seven camps in eastern Nepal until a third-party resettlement began in 2007. Over 103,000 refugees have been resettled in different countries so far with the United States being the largest recipient.
Beside the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Britain and the Netherland were among the countries to receive Bhutanese refugees from Nepal.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal, who is visiting Nepal, asked Nepalese Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat if Nepal would settle the remaining Bhutanese refugees internally, according to the Nepalese Foreign Ministry.
In response, Mahat said that Nepal was in favor of honorable repatriation of remaining Bhutanese refugees to Bhutan and the international community should support in this regard.
“Nepal has given refuge to Bhutanese refugees on the humanitarian ground only and respected their rights,” the minister said.
During her visit, Biswal also met with Nepalese Prime Minister Puspa Kamal Dahal on Sunday, who sought U.S. assistance in the areas of completion of peace process, implementation of new constitution and post-earthquake reconstruction.