WASHINGTON, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- The resettlement of Iranian refugees at Iraq's Camp Ashraf must have the support of camp residents and their supporters, the U.S. secretary of state said.
The United Nations and Baghdad last weekend signed a memorandum of understanding to relocate residents at Camp Ashraf in Diyala province to a temporary location at Camp Liberty, a former U.S. military base near Baghdad International Airport.
The MOU calls on the U.N. High Commission for Refugees to determine the refugee status of Ashraf residents to eventually resettle them in third countries.
Martin Kobler, head of the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq, said the MOU made it clear relocation from Camp Ashraf was voluntary.
Camp Ashraf houses members of the People's Mujahedin of Iran. Members of the PMOI were used as a paramilitary force by Saddam Hussein but surrendered to invading U.S. forces in 2003.
Europeans have relaxed their stance on the organization, though Washington lists it as a terrorist group. PMOI supporters in Europe and the United States are actively lobbying lawmakers to get the organization removed from the U.S. State Department's terrorism list.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a statement, said PMOI supporters needed to ensure the relocation in Iraq is a success.
"This resettlement must also have the full support of the camp's residents, and we urge them to work with the U.N. to implement this relocation," she said. "All those who want to see the people at Camp Ashraf safe and secure should work together to see that the agreed upon plan is carried out."
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