John Kerry: I Am Very Proud of the Effort We Made to Get MEK out of Iraq

On January 19, 2017 John Kerry

secretary of state in his farewell remarks in the C Street Lobby, regarding the relocation of MEK members mentioned the following words.

“…And one of the things that I am very proud of is the effort we made – I remember going to hearing after hearing, and you remember all those folks you’d see up there in those yellow jackets representing the Mujahedin-e Khalq – MEK as we’ve known them – and we got 3,000 of them out of Camp Liberty and to places where they are safe and their lives are saved from being attacked regularly, as they were. I thank Jonathan Winer, our special envoy, and others for that kind of effort. It’s been enormous.”

It is noteworthy that on September 12, 2016 following the successful relocation of the last group of MEK members from Iraq, John Kerry in his remarks before the Daily Press Briefing stated: “Second, let me make a quick comment about good news, because obviously we know we live in a turbulent era and too often there are (coughs) one challenge or another about conflict that, unfortunately, doesn’t bring good news. But I believe it’s important to note a very important humanitarian accomplishment from late last week. I was going to mention it but it was so late – or early in the morning in Geneva – that I didn’t.

But on Friday of last week, the last 280 members of the exiled Iranian opposition group, the Mujahedin e-Khalq, or MEK, as they’re known, were moved out of Camp Liberty in Iraq. And their departure concludes a significant American diplomatic initiative that has assured the safety of more than 3,000 MEK members whose lives have been under threat. And as everybody remembers, the camp they were in had on many occasions been shelled. There were people killed and injured. And we have been trying to figure out the way forward.

Well, the last 10 years have been filled with reminders of this challenge. I first became involved in this effort when I was in the Senate, and that is why during my first year as Secretary I appointed Jonathan Winer, one of my longest-serving and most trusted advisers, as our emissary to find a way to help the MEK be able to leave Iraq.

After steady progress over a period of months, I visited Tirana earlier this year and I discussed with the Albanian Government how to assist in facilitating the transfer and the resettlement of the last group of MEK members from Camp Liberty. Albania has a proud tradition of protecting vulnerable communities, as it did during the Kosovo conflict and in sheltering large numbers of Jews during World War II. I am very grateful that in this case too Albania was willing to play an important humanitarian role. I also want to thank the governments of Germany, Norway, Italy, the U.K., Finland, and other EU countries for helping to save the lives of the MEK. And this is a major humanitarian achievement, and I’m very proud that the United States was able to play a pivotal role in helping to get this job done.”

Read More:

NCRI – United States Secretary of State John Kerry made remarks to reporters on Monday on the successful relocation of the final group of members of the main Iranian opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK) from Camp Liberty in Iraq to Albania. Secretary Kerry made the announcement at the State Department Daily Briefing in Washington.

https://www.c-span.org/video/standalone/?c4619788Click here to see the video

The following is the text of Secretary Kerry’s remarks on the PMOI’s relocation from Iraq to Europe:

Remarks before the Daily Press Briefing

Remarks
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
September 12, 2016

Second, let me make a quick comment about good news, because obviously we know we live in a turbulent era and too often there are (coughs) one challenge or another about conflict that, unfortunately, doesn’t bring good news. But I believe it’s important to note a very important humanitarian accomplishment from late last week. I was going to mention it but it was so late – or early in the morning in Geneva – that I didn’t.

But on Friday of last week, the last 280 members of the exiled Iranian opposition group, the Mujahedin e-Khalq, or MEK, as they’re known, were moved out of Camp Liberty in Iraq. And their departure concludes a significant American diplomatic initiative that has assured the safety of more than 3,000 MEK members whose lives have been under threat. And as everybody remembers, the camp they were in had on many occasions been shelled. There were people killed and injured. And we have been trying to figure out the way forward.

Well, the last 10 years have been filled with reminders of this challenge. I first became involved in this effort when I was in the Senate, and that is why during my first year as Secretary I appointed Jonathan Winer, one of my longest-serving and most trusted advisers, as our emissary to find a way to help the MEK be able to leave Iraq.

After steady progress over a period of months, I visited Tirana earlier this year and I discussed with the Albanian Government how to assist in facilitating the transfer and the resettlement of the last group of MEK members from Camp Liberty. Albania has a proud tradition of protecting vulnerable communities, as it did during the Kosovo conflict and in sheltering large numbers of Jews during World War II. I am very grateful that in this case too Albania was willing to play an important humanitarian role. I also want to thank the governments of Germany, Norway, Italy, the U.K., Finland, and other EU countries for helping to save the lives of the MEK. And this is a major humanitarian achievement, and I’m very proud that the United States was able to play a pivotal role in helping to get this job done.

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