France will take a Guantanamo detainee, Sarkozy says

McClatchy NewspapersApril 3, 2009 

STRASBOURG, France — With President Barack Obama at his side, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Friday that his country would accept a prisoner released from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Sarkozy said he'd take one of the prisoners if it would make it easier to close the facility as Obama has promised. One detainee there reportedly has ties to France.

Like many foreign leaders _ not to mention Obama _ Sarkozy has been a critic of the prison that the Bush administration used to hold foreign terrorism suspects, without legal charges, often for years.

The French leader said Friday that the facility was "not in keeping with U.S. values."

Obama agreed.

"I made the decision to close Guantanamo because I don't think it makes America safer," Obama said.

A key challenge, however, is finding countries that will take in the released suspects. Obama also is finding opposition at home to sending some detainees to U.S. prisons.

The two men met before joining a NATO summit. Obama and his wife, Michelle, arrived in France on Friday morning from London, where he'd attended the Group of 20 economic summit.

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