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UNHCR: States consider MKO security threat

A senior UN official says the main reason behind the reluctance of certain countries to give refuge to members of the terrorist Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) is that they considerthe UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Erika Feller them a threat to their national security.

During a recent meeting with Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister Labid Abawi at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees office in the Swiss city of Geneva, the UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Erika Feller said the UNHCR will make utmost efforts to convince world states to shelter MKO members, the Habilian Association reported on Saturday.

The Habilian Association is an Iranian human rights NGO comprising a group of families that have lost their loved ones in terrorist acts during the early years following Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iraq’s deputy foreign minister, for his part, reiterated his country’s call for the immediate expulsion of terrorist MKO group from Iraqi soil.

Abawi also pointed to Baghdad’s resolve to close down Camp New Iraq, formerly known as Camp Ashraf which is situated about 120 kilometers (74 miles) west of the border with Iran, stressing that MKO’s presence in Iraq violates the country’s constitution and poses a threat to Iraq’s national security.

The remaining MKO members at Camp Ashraf are refusing to leave the site on the account that no country has so far adhered to the obligations enshrined in the agreement signed in December 2011, the Iraqi diplomat pointed out.

The MKO fled to Iraq in 1986, where it enjoyed the support of Iraq’s executed dictator Saddam Hussein, and set up a camp near the Iranian border.

The group is also known to have cooperated with Saddam in suppressing the 1991 uprisings in southern Iraq and carrying out the massacre of Iraqi Kurds. The group has carried out numerous acts of violence against Iranian civilians and government officials.

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