New York

19 March 2013

Note to Correspondents on the Secretary-General’s meeting with Mr. Martin Kobler, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq

The Secretary-General met his Special Representative for Iraq, Mr. Martin Kobler, today.

The Secretary-General condemned in the strongest terms the bomb attacks today in Baghdad, and expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the victims.  Mr. Kobler briefed the Secretary-General about the Government's decision to postpone elections in some provinces of Iraq.

Mr. Kobler briefed the Secretary-General on the latest situation with regard to the former residents of Camp Ashraf.  The Secretary General expects and hopes that the residents of Camp Hurriya would respond positively to the generous offer by the Government of Albania to accept over 200 of them, and to cooperate with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to relocate in the coming weeks.  He urges other Member States to follow suit with similar offers.

The Secretary-General underscores the responsibility which has been assumed by the Government of Iraq for the safety and security of residents of both Camp Hurriya and Camp Ashraf and the need to prevent any incidents.

The Secretary-General unequivocally supports the efforts of his Special Representative to resolve the situation in exceptionally difficult circumstances. He again urges other parties to play a constructive role in contributing to those efforts.  He also urges those who profess support for the residents of the Camps to cease spreading falsehoods about the Special Representative and instead help promote a durable solution.