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UK: It is in the interest of Ashraf residents to cooperate with Iraq

David Drew (Stroud, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the government of Iraq on the situation in Camp Ashraf; and if he will take steps to ensure that residents of Camp Ashraf are not driven from Iraq.

Ivan Lewis (Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Bury South, Labour)

We have discussed the situation at Camp Ashraf with the Iraqi Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, the Human Rights Minister, the Minister of Internal Affairs and the Iraqi Government’s Ashraf Committee. I met the Iraqi Foreign Minister in Baghdad in December 2009 and underlined the need for the Iraqi authorities to deal with the residents of Camp Ashraf in a way that meets international humanitarian standards. In addition we discuss the issue with the UN, US, and the EU.

The Iraqi authorities have told the residents that they can no longer stay at Camp Ashraf but has given assurances that no residents will be forcibly transferred to a country where they have reason to fear persecution, or where substantial grounds exist to believe they would be tortured. The Iraqi Human Rights Minister confirmed to our ambassador on 27 January 2010 that the Government of Iraq would deal with the residents of the camp with respect for their human rights in co-operation with the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross. We believe it is in the interests of the residents to respect and accept the decision made by the Government of Iraq, and to cooperate peacefully with the Iraqi authorities.

House of Commons

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