US urges Nepal not to repatriate Tibetan refugees

Published On: March 19, 2019 08:32 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, March 19: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has expressed hope that Nepal would uphold the principle of non-refoulement principle in case of Tibetan refugees. 

In his congratulatory message to Prime Minister KP Oli on the completion of the first anniversary of assuming office as prime minister, Pompeo urged Nepal to be part of the Indo-Pacific strategy unveiled by the US to ensure free and open Indo-Pacific region saying the strategy is in the interest of Nepal.

“Recognizing your own experience as a political prisoner, I welcomed Foreign Minister Gyawali’s reassurance that Nepal would continue to protect the rights of Tibetans in Nepal, particularly the principle of non-refoulement, which ensures that individuals will not be returned to a country where they face serious threats to their life or their religious, cultural, and linguistic freedoms,” Pompeo said in the statement. 

US Secretary of State sending congratulatory message to Nepali prime minister on the anniversary of the assumption of office is rare. Foreign policy experts describe this as an indication of the US attaching further importance to its relations with Nepal.

Pompeo said that the Indo-Pacific strategy unveiled by the US would be helpful for Nepal to safeguard its national interests. “As Nepal strives to realize the fruits of peace and political stability, I believe it will become increasingly apparent that the US emphasis on a free and open Indo-Pacific region, providing for the prosperity, sovereignty, and security of every country, is very much in Nepal’s own interest,” he further said in the message.

Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali had held bilateral meeting with Pompeo in December 2018. “My meeting with Foreign Minister Gyawali consolidated some important commitments, including the paramount importance of ensuring the $500 million Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact moves forward according to the agreed-upon principles,” he said. 

Pompeo in the message also appreciated Gyawali’s assurance that the Government of Nepal would uphold its international obligations, including the binding agreements that govern our bilateral assistance and the UN Security Council sanctions compelling North Korea to abandon its nuclear program. 

While expressing desire to elevate US-Nepal relations to higher level, Secretary of State Pompeo urged to move forward in a spirit of genuine partnership, not only in the tone of our public comments but also in the progress we make through concrete action on our commitments.

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