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The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, on Monday welcomed Albania's the offer of sanctuary to members of an exiled Iranian group.
"I am very grateful that the Albanian Government has offered solutions for 210 people from Camp Hurriya, " Guterres said.
"The residents of Camp Hurriya urgently need solutions to relocate out of Iraq. We hope they welcome this offer and cooperate to ensure the departure of this important number of people," he added.
The MEK, founded as a revolutionary organization in 1965, has opposed the clerical regime that has ruled Teheran since the overthrow of the US backed monarchy in 1979.
During the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s the MEK’s opposition to the regime took them onto the side of the Iraq’s former dictator Saddam Hussein who gave them refuge. They fought on Iraq’s side in the war.
Unable to return home, nearly 3,200 members of the MEK currently reside in a former US base in Iraq, camp Hurriya, also known as camp Liberty.
But Iraq is no longer a safe refuge and the government there is eager to relocate them out of the country.
The camp has seen a recent deterioration of the security situation of its residents, with a mortar attack on the camp on February 9, killing eight and wounding dozens with subsequent threats made against the residents.
"This generous offer is a demonstration of international solidarity and burden sharing for a vulnerable population," said Guterres.
"I strongly encourage other countries to follow Albania's lead and offer solutions for the camp residents that enable them to relocate outside of Iraq," he concluded.
Tirana bills its offer to take in 210 members of an Iranian resistance group a humanitarian gesture - an alternative explanation is that the government is just doing America’s bidding.
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