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EU cautious on Guantanamo

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EU cautious on Guantanamo

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With Guantanamo Prison to be closed, where will its inmates go? They have been detained for years under the previous US administration as enemy combatants without conventional prisoners’ rights.

Some European Union states say take them in. Others refuse. They have been in closed-doors talks aimed at presenting a united European front on the subject. New U.S. President Barack Obama has ordered the prison closed within a year. The Bush administration had tried to persuade allies to take some of the inmates but its methods repulsed many. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and others suggest the EU will be open to any fence-mending efforts: “We have not received any demands still from our American friends but I would like to say what I have always been saying: This is an American problem and they have to solve it but we’ll be ready to help if necessary.” Some EU governments’ cooperation in US transportation of prisoners was also viewed by many as grossly violating human rights, and caused public outrage. EU diplomats point out that taking in inmates carries legal and security implications that could also prompt a public backlash despite strong support for Obama across the bloc.