The United States welcomes the peaceful departure of the first 397 residents from Camp Ashraf and joins the United Nations in welcoming their safe arrival at Camp Hurriya, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Saturday.
"The United States commends the Iraqi government for its facilitation of a secure and peaceful relocation process and its willingness to invest significant resources in that regard," she said in a statement released by the department. "The United States also commends the decision by the Ashraf residents to begin to relocate to Hurriya, where the United Nations will begin a process aimed at facilitating their eventual departure from Iraq." The United States encourages Ashraf residents to continue their cooperation with Iraqi authorities and the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) as they work to complete the relocation to Hurriya, she said. The United States will continue to coordinate with UNAMI and the Iraqi government to follow the relocation process, she said. In addition to around-the-clock UN human rights monitoring, the U.S. will visit the temporary transit facility at Hurriya regularly and frequently, she said.
"The United States acknowledges and echoes the call of the United Nations for the international community to expeditiously assist the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as its work at Hurriya begins, to ensure that those recognized as refugees by UNHCR under its mandate can be safely relocated out of Iraq as quickly as possible," the statement said.