Spain to take five from Guantanamo

Country agrees to take five detainees from Guantanamo Bay, which is closing down.

    Spain has agreed to take Guantanamo inmates who face persecution in their homelands

    A foreign ministry official told The Associated Press news agency that it was not yet known when Spain would give final approval for the transfers.

    A number of other European countries have agreed to take in Guantanamo inmates, including France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy and Portugal.

    Persecution fears

    Barack Obama, the US president, has pledged to close the prison camp, but has missed his January 22 deadline partly because it has not yet resolved where the remaining inmates will be sent.

    Washington asked other countries to help by taking in detainees cleared of any charges who cannot be sent back to their homelands, often because of fears they could be persecuted there.

    Daniel Fried, Obama's special envoy for the task, met with Spanish officials in Madrid last June and asked the country to take in four prisoners.

    Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Spain's prime minister, has been eager to establish good ties with the US, after angering then-president George Bush in April 2004 by withdrawing Spanish peacekeepers from Iraq.

    Zapatero has also agreed to send more Spanish troops to Afghanistan in response to a plea from Obama for more allied help in fighting the Taliban.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.