United States Welcomes Government of Albania Resettlement Offer for Former Camp Ashraf Residents

Press Statement
Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
March 18, 2013

The United States welcomes the Government of Albania’s generous offer to resettle 210 former residents of Camp Ashraf temporarily based at Camp Hurriya, and thanks Prime Minister Berisha for the humanitarian gesture to provide a safe haven for these individuals. Albania has been a strong partner of the United States in the effort to bring stability and peace to Iraq.

We believe the permanent resettlement of former Ashraf residents outside Iraq is the only sustainable solution and remain committed to assisting UNAMI, UNHCR and the Government of Iraq in this endeavor. The United States calls on the leadership of the MEK to accept the Government of Albania’s humanitarian offer immediately, and urges the residents of Camp Hurriya to resume participation in resettlement interviews to ensure that individuals avail themselves of safe and secure relocation opportunities outside Iraq. We further urge the MEK leadership to place the highest priority on the safety and security of the former residents of Ashraf through full and unconditional cooperation with the resettlement process.

The United States strongly supports the work of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), UNHCR, and the Special Representative of the Secretary General Martin Kobler. We continue to emphasize that the camp and its residents must be secured in accordance with the December 25, 2011 Memorandum of Understanding between the United Nations and the Government of Iraq, and urge all involved parties to work together effectively on this.

PRN: 2013/0304