2001 News Story

Official comment on media reports on Iraqi refugees

An official source at the Ministry of Defense and Aviation today commented on last Sunday's report by the French news agency Agence France Presse (AFP) that Iraq had asked Saudi Arabia to allow Iraqi refugees residing at the Rafha Camp to return to Iraq, and that the Iraqi foreign ministry had also accused the Saudi authorities of committing inhuman practices against these Iraqi refugees. The official source totally rejects what was said in that report, as the Iraqi refugees themselves can attest to. The truth is that the Kingdom has always provided them with excellent care of a standard unavailable in refugee camps elsewhere, and this care has been acknowledged not only by the Iraqis in the Camp, but by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), which has a permanent presence in Rafha. Moreover, the Iraqi refugees have always had full freedom to return to Iraq whenever they wish, or to re-settle in any country that accepts them.