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White House expresses concern about seven 'abducted from Camp Ashraf', Iraq

NCRI - As Iranian demonstrators marched in front of the White House on Friday to protest President Barack Obama’s meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, White House Press Secretary told reporters that "we remain deeply concerned about the fate of the individuals abducted from Camp Ashraf as well as the security of the residents remaining in Iraq at Camp Hurriya [Camp Liberty].

On September 1, Iraqi forces attacked residents in Camp Ashraf, place of residence of Iranian refugees in Iraq who are protected persons according to Geneva Conventions, massacring 52 members of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and taking seven residents, including six women, hostage.

Bellow is the text of the Friday press briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney:

Q You have a noisy demonstration out front by Camp Ashraf folks. Can you tell us how hard is the President going to press the Iraqi Prime Minister on the issue of accountability for the killings that took place in September at Camp Ashraf?

MR. CARNEY: Well, as you know, the President has meetings this afternoon with -- very shortly with Prime Minister Maliki. And I’m not going to give you a readout of meetings that haven’t happened yet. They’ll discuss a whole range of issues; this is I’m sure going to be one of them.

But this is an important relationship, and it’s one that in the aftermath of the ending of the Iraq war and the withdrawal of U.S. troops remains important. And our commitment remains very strong to Iraq and the assistance we provide them in dealing with their challenges from al Qaeda in Iraq, the renamed al Qaeda in Iraq, and dealing with their overall economic challenges as they continue to make progress out of the past that created so many problems for the Iraqi people.

Q What’s the current position on who was responsible for that?

MR. CARNEY: I would refer you -- well, let me say this. I’m sure State Department has more on this for you, but I can tell you that we remain deeply concerned about the fate of the individuals abducted from Camp Ashraf as well as the security of the residents remaining in Iraq at Camp Hurriya. We are pursuing these matters actively and daily with UNAMI, with UNHCR, the government of Iraq and other relevant authorities, to seek information on the MEK members who went missing and to ensure as much protection as possible is provided for the residents who are at Camp Hurriya.

So I’m sure, as I said, that these are the kinds of conversations we have with our counterparts as part of a whole array of topics that will come up.

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