Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Statement of Senator Karl Vanlouwe Chairman of Belgian Senate Foreign Affairs Committee

To the Rally on Ashraf – Schumanplein Brussels - 1 December 2011

Dear relatives and friends of Camp Ashraf,

I commend you for this strong gathering in this cold and rainy weather.
I am sure that your friends in Ashraf are very proud to have such strong and persistent supporters all around the world.

I must say you have large numbers of supporters here in Belgium among members of Parliament and the Senate.

It is because we truly value human rights and democracy and we believe every people have the right to resist tyranny and dictatorship.

Your friends in Ashraf have made enormous sacrifices for their cause. I have seen the clips from the two previous attacks on Ashraf and I am shocked how they could allow soldiers to open fire on unarmed and defenceless women and men?

As our foreign minister said in the senate session last week, I too believe that the deadline by Iraqi government to close camp Ashraf 31 December is “neither reasonable, nor realistic”.

When the international community is so much engaged to help find a peaceful solution for Ashraf, the insistence of Iraq to keep this deadline can only be have one meaning: They don’t want a solution. They seem more interested in creating tensions and pleasing their megalomaniac religious friends in Tehran.

It is therefore very important, now that we have only 30 days left, that this deadline should be condemned loud and clearly by the Council of EU foreign ministers.

I believe that a strong EU position on this matter is urgent, and closer than ever. Iran is under fire for allowing and probably even organizing demonstrations that disrespect the international diplomatic rules.

Iraq must allow time to the UNHCR to conduct its work to establish refugee status for the residents. The EU must use its financial leverage over the Iraqi government to get them to make concessions on the subject of Ashraf. If not, Baghdad is clearly showing its allegiance to the tyrannical regime of Tehran.

We also reject forcible evacuation of the Camp and relocation of the people to unknown locations which could set the stage for more bloodshed.

I would like to repeat that the security of the residents should be provided by a UN Blue helmet peacekeeping force, and only then, the residents can be moved to other locations prior to their departure to third countries.

Thank you for your attention and please convey my best regards to the brave people of Ashraf.


Post a Comment