Poland not keen to accept Guantanamo detainees, official says

28th December 2008, Comments 0 comments

The European Union is divided over the issues, with the Netherlands ruling out accepting any newly freed inmates.

Warwaw -- EU and NATO member Poland is not "keen" on accepting terror suspects released from Guantanamo Bay, Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said in an interview published Saturday.

"In Poland, Guantanamo is not at the center of attention as is the case in Western Europe. Prisoners from other countries speaking exotic languages would be a challenge for our prison system," Sikorski told the Dziennik daily.

"So, I wouldn't be keen about it."

US president elect Barack Obama has pledged to shut down the notorious US Guantanamo military detention center holding suspected al Qaeda terrorists on Cuba.

The European Union is divided over the issues, with the Netherlands ruling out accepting any newly freed inmates, Portugal and Germany signaling that they might do so, and France welcoming the camp's imminent closure but calling for a common European position.

Sweden has said it is Washington's responsibility, while media reports have suggested Denmark will refuse any US request.

Poland has long denied allegations that it allowed the CIA, the US intelligence agency, to run a secret interrogation center for captured al Qaeda suspects on its territory from 2003-2005.

But in a report released in June 2007, Council of Europe investigator Dick Marty claimed the alleged prison was part of a "global spider's web" of detentions and illegal transfers spun out around the world by Washington and its allies after the attacks of September 11, 2001 on the United States.

Marty also claimed that Romania had hosted a similar facility, but authorities there have also flatly denied his accusation.

Both Poland and Romania have become staunch US allies since the collapse of their communist regimes in 1989.

AFP/Expatica

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