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Top US official on Tibetan issues meets with Tibetans in Nepal against host gov’t advice

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(TibetanReview.net, May22’22) – On her three-day visit to Nepal’s capital Kathmandu beginning May 20, US Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights and Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, Ms Uzra Zeya, has paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba at the latter’s residence in Baluwatar today after having met with Tibetan community leaders and members the day before.

Earlier, on May 20 itself, Nepal’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson told a regular press conference that the government was not aware of any plans for meetings between Ms Zeya and Tibetan refugee leaders in Kathmandu, reported theannapurnaexpress.com May 22. This was apparently because such meetings would not go down well with the Chinese government whose ambassador had already made clear her country’s displeasure over Ms Zeya’s visit.

Ms Zeya visited the Tibetan camp in Jawalakhel, Lalitpur, along with the deputy chief of the US embassy on May 21. She inquired about the physical and other facilities like health and education in the camp while interacting with the Tibetan refugee representatives and residents living there. The report saw the meetings as a strong message to China.

Her interaction with the Tibetans took place despite the government’s suggestion against it as it would affect Nepal’s “one China” policy, reported the english.onlinekhabar.com May 22.

On his meeting with Ms Zeya, Prime Minister Deuba wrote on twitter: “We exchanged views on Nepal-US relations and matters of mutual interests.”

Ms Zeya is also scheduled to meet Foreign Affairs Minister Narayan Khadka, Home Minister Bal Krishna Khand and Chief Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi today, the report said.

A source at Nepal’s Home Ministry had earlier said Zeya was expected to urge Prime Minister Deuba and other high-ranking Nepali officials to issue refugee ID cards to Tibetans who had been denied it thus far at the earliest.

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