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Hurriya Resettlement Begins

Iraqi Army soldiers stand guard near burned trailers at Camp Ashraf north of Baghdad, Iraq. (File)

On May 15th, the first 14 Camp Hurriya residents departed Iraq for permanent relocation in Albania.

On May 15th, the first 14 Camp Hurriya residents departed Iraq for permanent relocation in Albania.

Camp Hurriya Resettlement Begins
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The Government of Albania offered to resettle 210 members of the Mujahadin-e Khalq, or MEK, who are temporarily based at Camp Hurriya near Baghdad, Iraq. The United States deeply appreciates this humanitarian gesture by Albania to provide safe haven for these individuals and its efforts to bring stability and peace to Iraq. Albania has been a strong partner of the United States in bringing peace and stability to Iraq.

The MEK’s members were supported by the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, who established them at Camp Ashraf in Diyala province, Iraq. In 2012, per the terms of the December 25, 2011 Memorandum of Understanding between the United Nations and the government of Iraq, members of the MEK were moved from Camp Ashraf to Camp Hurriya in order for the U.N. to evaluate their international protection needs and options for relocation outside Iraq.

The United States urges the MEK leadership to cooperate fully with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR, relocation process and to facilitate access by United Nations monitors to Camp Hurriya residents. The relocation of Camp Hurriya residents outside of Iraq is vital to their safety and security. It is the responsibility of the MEK leadership to facilitate for the residents of Camp Hurriya free and unfettered access to UN human rights monitors.

The United States reiterates its strong support for the efforts of UNHCR, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, and the Special Representative of the Secretary General Martin Kobler.

The United States emphasizes that the camp and its residents must be secured in accordance with Memorandum of Understanding and urges all involved parties to work together effectively on this.