US wants Vatican help in closing Gitmo | | Al Jazeera

US wants Vatican help in closing Gitmo

Washington looks to leverage some Holy See klout in South America as it tries to find homes for detainees.

by

    US Secretary of State John Kerry wants some help from Rome in convincing heavily Catholic countries in Latin America to resettle detainees from Guantanamo Bay.

    Kerry met with his Vatican counterpart Cardinal Pietro Parolin in Rome, and the Holy See's Press Office says the US asked for "assistance in seeking adequate humanitarian solutions for current inmates".

    A State Department official tells DC Dispatches the US wants further public Vatican support for closing the prison. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops for example has repeatedly called for Guantanamo to be closed, most recently in an open letter to the State Department just last week.

    But the Vatican could also play a behind-the-scenes role in encouraging countries to resettle detainees cleared for release. Which countries are we talking about? Latin American countries with Catholic populations. The US has worked with countries in Latin American to resettle detainees: six detainees were just sent to Uruguay for example, and more are expected to be resettled in the region. The Vatican could be helpful in moving those resettlement conversations along according to this official.


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR



    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    America's Guns: Secret Pipeline to Syria

    America's Guns: Secret Pipeline to Syria

    How has the international arms trade exacerbated conflict in the Middle East? People and Power investigates.

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.