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EU nations agree to take Guantanamo detainees: Report

Last Updated: Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 14:17

Washington: The United States has secured promises from a clutch of European nations to take in detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, bolstering efforts to close the prison, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.
In total, nine European Union countries are in talks to resettle detainees, the newspaper said, citing unnamed officials in President Barack Obama`s administration.

Four of the countries are "committed" to rehousing prisoners already cleared for release and currently being held at the detention camp on the US naval base in southeast Cuba, the daily said. Five other nations are considering the move.

There are still 229 prisoners at the camp, opened in January 2002 by former president George W Bush to hold "enemy combatants" in the US "war on terror." Obama has ordered the camp to be closed by January 22, 2010.

Some 80 prisoners are ready for release, and the Post said if resettling agreements could be made, a reduced detainee population will likely ease the political charged debate on moving remaining prisoners to a facility on US soil.

This month Portugal joined Bermuda, France, Ireland, Bermuda and the Pacific archipelago of Palau in agreeing to accept detainees.

Australia and Georgia have held "positive talks" with the Obama administration on taking in detainees, the Post said, citing US officials.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 14:17
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