Brussels: US Attorney General Eric Holder
on Tuesday said the Obama administration will do its utmost to
close the US prison at Guantanamo Bay before next year`s
presidential elections despite political opposition.
Holder said at the European Parliament that even if the
current administration fails to close it ahead of elections,
it will continue to press ahead if it wins the November 2012
Republican presidential rival Rick Perry has said he is
happy the US prison at Guantanamo has been kept open.
Holder said the administration wants to close the facility
"as quickly as possible, recognising that we will face
The campaign promise to close Guantanamo has been a major
problem for President Barack Obama since he took office. He
had promised to close the prison within a year but it remains
open as his campaign for re-election gets under way.
"We will be pressing for the closure of the facility
between now and then and after that election, we will try to
close it as well," Holder said.
"Some people have made this a political issue without
looking at, I think, the real benefits that would flow from
the closure of the facility."
The administration of George W Bush opened the prison for
terrorist suspects at the US Navy base in Cuba, and Obama,
amid a clamor on both sides of the Atlantic to close the
prison, vowed to do just that and move the detainees