Spain willing to take 3-5 Gitmo detainees

By Caitlin Taylor

Jun 17, 2009 12:56pm

ABC News' Kirit Radia reports: Spain is willing to take in three to five Guantanamo detainees, a senior State Department official told ABC News, confirming a report today in the Spanish newspaper El Pais. Ambassador Daniel Fried, the top State Dept official tasked with finding a place for those detainees cleared for release, arrived in Spain yesterday with a list of detainees for the Spanish government to consider, the official confirmed. El Pais reports those include several Tunisians and Syrians. The paper also reports that Spain has not demanded that the detainees have any connection to the country in order to be resettled there. France agreed to accept an Algerian detainee last month in large part because he had family in the country. Spain is the second European country to say it would take in detainees since the US and the European Union agreed Monday on principles of closing the detention facility. That same day Italy said it would take in a three detainees. Last week saw a flurry of transfers from Guantanamo, with four Uighur detainees being transferred to Bermuda and reports that 13 other Uighurs, Chinese Muslims, could be sent to the Pacific island nation of Palau. Three Saudis were transferred home last week, as well as one individual sent to Iraq and another to Chad. The Obama administration has pledged to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility by the end of January 2010.

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