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US Congress to vote on plans to close Guantanamo

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By Catherine Hardy  with Reuters, EFE, AFP
US Congress to vote on plans to close Guantanamo
  • US President says he will close Guantanamo
  • 91 people still held at facility
  • Congress firmly against plan

US President Barack Obama says he plans to close the controversial Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

91 people are still being held at the jail in Cuba.

The Pentagon plans to transfer them to their home countries or to US military or civilian jails.

However, Congress is firmly against the move and is likely to block it.

What Obama said

US President Barack Obama made the announcement during a press call at the White House.

“This is about closing a chapter in our history, it reflects the lessons that we have learned since 9/11.”

“I don’t want to pass this problem on to the next president, whoever it is. And if as a nation we do not deal with this now, when will be deal with it?”

“With this plan we have the opportunity finally to eliminate a terrorist propaganda tool, to strengthen relationships with allies and partners, enhance our national security and most importantly uphold the values that define us as Americans. I am absolutely committed to closing the detention facility at Guantanamo.”