EU to urge members to accept Iranian dissidents

By REUTERS
November 24, 2011 21:13

 
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BRUSSELS - EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton will urge EU states next week to accept as many residents as they can of a camp of Iranian dissidents in Iraq that Baghdad plans to close by the end of the year, EU officials said on Thursday.

Ashton will make the call as part of efforts to resolve the issue of Camp Ashraf, a base of the People's Mujahideen Organisation of Iran, which mounted attacks on Iran before the U.S.-led removal of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has been trying to arrange to interview the more than 3,000 residents to determine who among them qualifies for refugee status and thus resettlement, but Iraq has yet to allow this.

A senior EU official said the United Nations and Iraq were working to resolve "a logistical problem" caused by Iraq's refusal to allow the interviews to take place at the camp.

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