EU still supports resettling Guantánamo detainees

Miami HeraldJuly 6, 2011 

Europe is still open to resettling Guantánamo detainees on a case by case basis despite U.S. domestic politics that are thwarting President Barack Obama’s closure ambitions, the European Union Ambassador to the United States said Wednesday.

“We have to see each case on its merits,” said EU Ambassador João Vale de Almeida.

Europe had welcomed Obama’s pledge upon taking office to empty the U.S. Navy base’s controversial prison camps. So much so that the EU in June 2009 adopted a policy that gave each member country’s government the authority to negotiate resettlement agreements with Washington without central approval.

“We not only encouraged President Obama, we helped President Obama. A number of countries accepted detainees,” Vale de Almeida said in a stop at The Miami Herald en route to observe Friday’s NASA space shuttle launch.

European countries, in fact, resettled 27 cleared captives after striking deals with the Obama administration to accommodate transfers. The White House negotiated a resettlement deal with Bermuda, a British overseas territory, for four Uighur Muslims captives whom a federal judge had ordered freed.

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