UN envoy welcomes last major transfer of MEK members

The United Nations envoy in Iraq on Sunday welcomed the last major relocation of Iranian exiles ‎from a camp outside of the capital, Baghdad, and called for a renewed focus on resettling the ‎residents in third countries.‎

‎“This is an important step as we near the end of the relocation process. I would like to thank the ‎residents for their cooperation,” said Martin Kobler, the Secretary-General's Special ‎Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). ‎

‎“I would also like to thank the Government of Iraq for ensuring this last major relocation and ‎paving the way for the peaceful closure of Camp Ashraf under the terms of the memorandum of ‎understanding,” he added in a news release.‎

The issue of Camp Ashraf – located in eastern Iraq and made up of several thousand Iranian ‎exiles, many of them members of a group known as the People's Mojahedeen of Iran – has been ‎one of the main issues dealt with by UNAMI for more than ‎‏18‏‎ months. ‎

The last major relocation convoy, carrying ‎‏680‏‎ residents, has arrived in Camp Hurriya, where a ‎process to determine refugee status is being carried out by the Office of the UN High ‎Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). ‎

Of the ‎‏3,280‏‎ residents originally in Camp Ashraf, only a small group now remains on a temporary ‎basis to arrange the details pursuant to the closure of the camp, according to UNAMI. ‎

UN monitors will continue to oversee the process, including the relocation of remaining residents ‎to Camp Hurriya.‎

Now that the majority of the residents have been transferred, Mr. Kobler called for a renewed ‎focus on resettlement. “I urge the international community to speed up its efforts to accept ‎residents in third countries,” he said. ‎