New York

18 March 2013

Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Iraq

The Secretary-General continues to follow closely the situation of the former residents of Camp Ashraf who are presently waiting for relocation from Camp Hurriya, Iraq. He welcomes the Government of Albania’s decision to offer humanitarian admission to 210 residents of Camp Hurriya. He expects and urges the residents to positively respond to Albania’s offer and to cooperate with UNHCR to relocate in the coming days.

The Secretary-General urges other Member States to follow suit and to offer residents a safe relocation outside of Iraq, in light of their need for international protection.

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

The Secretary-General believes it is important to continue moving the relocation process forward. This is the best hope for a peaceful and humanitarian resolution to this issue.  It offers the former residents of Camp Ashraf a more hopeful and secure future outside of Iraq. 

The Secretary-General unequivocally supports the efforts of his Special Representative to courageously and creatively, in exceptionally difficult circumstances, help resolve this situation.