Germany to accept two Guantanamo detainees: officials

7th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

Germany has agreed to take in two Guantanamo detainees, government sources said Wednesday, after months of deliberation over security concerns following a US request.

Officials said Chancellor Angela Merkel's administration and state governments, whose cooperation was needed in settling the men from the US prison in Cuba, had cleared the impasse.

The sources, who declined to be named, said one detainee would be sent to the northern port city of Hamburg and the other to the southwestern region Rhineland-Palatinate.

US President Barack Obama pledged to shut down the disputed US military prison in southeastern Cuba after it became a symbol for many of excesses in the "war on terror" under former president George W. Bush.

Washington asked allies to help resettle prisoners who have been cleared of all charges but cannot return home, often over fears they may be tortured.

According to US government figures from early May, 181 detainees remain there including dozens already cleared for release. Most have been held without charge or trial.

The United States most recently asked Germany to take in three detainees, reportedly a Syrian, a Palestinian and a Jordanian.

The nationality of the two men Germany has now agreed to take in was not immediately clear but Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere was to hold a news conference later Wednesday.

Germany last year refused a request to take in two ex-detainees, arguing that Washington had failed to provide sufficient information on any threat they might pose.

It had previously rejected a US call to accept Chinese Uighur detainees.

© 2010 AFP

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