Guantanamo closure plan ordered

04Jan09

guantanamoUS Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered plans to be drafted for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention centre, the Pentagon says.

A team was looking at moving inmates from the facility in a way that continued to protect the American people, a spokesman said. About 250 detainees remain in the controversial Cuba camp.

US President-elect Barack Obama says closing the camp “in a responsible way” is one of his top priorities. Mr Obama, who takes office on 20 January, said earlier this week he aimed to close the facility within two years.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Mr Gates – who is to retain his position in the new administration – had wanted to be prepared in case Mr Obama wished to tackle the issue “early in his tenure”. “He has asked his team for a proposal on how to shut it down, what will be required specifically to close it and move the detainees from that facility, and at the same time protect the American people from dangerous terrorists,” he said.

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18th December 2008

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