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Iraq determined to close Camp Ashraf - FM

Arab World Materials 16 May 2011 05:06
Iraq's foreign minister says Baghdad is determined to close Camp Ashraf and expel Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) members from the country, Press TV reported.
Iraq determined to close Camp Ashraf - FM

Iraq's foreign minister says Baghdad is determined to close Camp Ashraf and expel Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) members from the country, Press TV reported.

"We have called on the international community and European countries to accept residents of the Camp Ashraf so the camp could be closed," Hoshyar Zebari told Mehr News Agency on Sunday.

Earlier in May, the US proposed a plan to relocated Camp Ashraf residents to other parts of Iraq before their final resettlement in third countries.

The U.S. designated the MKO a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997; the group is still on the list. Britain and the European Union took the group off their terrorist lists in 2008 and 2009 respectively after court rulings that found no evidence of terrorist actions after the MKO renounced violence in 2001.

On April 11, Iraqi government spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, said the cabinet was determined to shut the camp down.

The MKO fled to Iraq in the 1980s, where it enjoyed the support of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and set up Camp Ashraf in the eastern province of Diyala, near the Iranian border.

Over 3,000 MKO members are currently residing at the camp. Since Saddam was deposed in 2003, the Iraqi government has set numerous deadlines for the group to leave the country.

Iran has repeatedly called on the Iraqi government to expel the group.

Zebari said relations between Iran and Iraq is increasing, predicting that bilateral ties would develop further in the future.

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