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UNHCR Special Envoy in Iraq

Briefing notes

UNHCR Special Envoy in Iraq

1 July 2003

The High Commissioner's special envoy for Iraq, Dennis McNamara, will arrive in Baghdad today on the fourth leg of his current mission to the region. He already visited Iran, Kuwait and southern Iraq.

UNHCR is making efforts to arrange for the early and organized returns of some small groups of Iraqi refugees from Iran. In parallel, the return of Iranian refugees from Iraq will be resumed. The Iranian government agreed on this approach.

Concrete progress on organized returns is necessary in order to avoid potential spontaneous and unorganized movement of returnees across the border. McNamara hopes that the mutual repatriation operation will begin within weeks.

In Baghdad, the special envoy is scheduled to meet UN representatives, the Coalition Provisional Authorities and Palestinian refugees. He will leave Baghdad on Saturday, heading for Northern Iraq