Germany receives second US Guantanamo bid

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Paris confirmed that the United States had asked Germany to receive two Guantanamo inmates, but could not disclose the nationality of the pair.

Berlin -- Germany has received a second request from the United States to take in prisoners from its Guantanamo Bay jail but is unable to accept it based on the data provided, the interior ministry said Thursday.

"On the basis of the information we have at the moment, we are not able to take a positive decision," a ministry spokesman, Stefan Paris, told AFP.

Paris confirmed that the United States had asked Germany to receive two inmates of the "war on terror" lockup, but could not disclose the nationality of the pair. Security sources said one is Syrian, the other Tunisian.

The interior ministry would need to check whether the prisoners represented a security risk, the spokesman said.

On a visit to Germany last Friday, US President Barack Obama said he had neither asked for nor received any hard commitments from Berlin on taking Guantanamo Bay detainees, after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"Chancellor Merkel has been very open to discussions with us. We have not asked her for hard commitments and she has not given us any hard commitments," Obama said.

However Daniel Fried, an assistant US secretary of state, had presented the German government in April with a list of nine Chinese Uighur detainees for Berlin to "consider".

Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble also replied in that case that the information provided was insufficient to warrant a positive reply.

Obama has vowed to shut the facility at the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by January 2010.

Many of the inmates have already been cleared for release, but US officials are having difficulty finding countries that will take them in, and meeting resistance at home to housing them on US soil.

The tiny Pacific nation Palau agreed Wednesday to take in up to 17 Uighur Guantanamo detainees.

And the United States Thursday sent four Uighur men who had been held at the prison camp in Cuba to Bermuda.

AFP/Expatica

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