Iraq: Camp Ashr…


Iraq: Camp Ashraf

 

Questions

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Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the 6 December briefing to the United Nations Security Council by Martin Kobler, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, on the extension of the deadline for closing down Camp Ashraf.[HL14201]

Lord Howell of Guildford: The UK is fully supportive of Mr Kobler’s efforts to encourage a peaceful solution to the situation at Camp Ashraf. We note Mr Kobler has called for the Government of Iraq to extend the 31 December deadline to close Camp Ashraf. In our own discussions, we too continue to urge them to show flexibility over their end of year deadline and to respect the human rights of the residents of Camp Ashraf. We support efforts by the United Nations and international partners to encourage the Government of Iraq and the leadership of Camp Ashraf to engage in a meaningful and peaceful negotiation to resolve the future of the residents of Ashraf.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they share the view expressed to the United Nations Security Council by Martin Kobler, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, that “lives are at stake and must be protected” at Camp Ashraf; and what part they intend to play in securing the protection and resettlement of the residents.[HL14202]

Lord Howell of Guildford: We remain deeply concerned at the humanitarian situation at Camp Ashraf. We continue to urge the government of Iraq to respect the human rights of the residents of Camp Ashraf. We support efforts by the United Nations and international partners to encourage the Government of Iraq and the leadership of Camp Ashraf to engage in a meaningful and peaceful negotiation to resolve the future of the residents of Ashraf. However we are clear that this is for the sovereign Government of Iraq and leadership of Camp Ashraf to resolve. A number of residents of Camp Ashraf with valid UK travel documents have recently left Camp Ashraf to return to the UK; however, we do not agree that wholesale resettlement in the European Union and elsewhere of the residents of Camp Ashraf is a valid option.

19 Dec 2011 : Column WA317

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the First Report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations pursuant to paragraph 6 of Council resolution 2001(2011) in relation to Camp Ashraf, published on 28 November, that “it is essential that third countries indicate a willingness to receive camp residents for resettlement”; and what assistance they are giving to the Secretary-General to achieve this objective.[HL14203]

Lord Howell of Guildford: We fully support efforts by the United Nations to encourage the Government of Iraq and the leadership of Camp Ashraf to engage in meaningful and peaceful negotiation to resolve the future of the residents of Ashraf. The noble Lord will note that the First Report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations pursuant to paragraph 6 of Council resolution 2001 (2011) requests a “willingness of third countries to receive camp residents deemed eligible for resettlement.” A number of residents of Camp Ashraf with valid UK travel documents have recently left Camp Ashraf to return to the UK; however, we do not agree that wholesale resettlement in third countries of the residents of Camp Ashraf is a valid option.