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European Nations Denying Obama Any Excuse Not to Close Guantanamo Immediately


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European nations consider taking Guantanamo detainees
By Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Half dozen European countries are considering resettling detainees from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as a gesture to the incoming Obama administration, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

Citing senior European officials and U.S. diplomats, the newspaper said European officials have put out tentative feelers to President-elect Barack Obama's team. But Obama advisers said they could only discuss the issue after the January 20 inauguration.

Guantanamo has about 250 detainees including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, accused of masterminding the September 11 attacks. The prison has come to symbolize aggressive interrogation practices that opened the United States up to allegations of torture.

Obama has pledged to close Guantanamo.

Only Germany and Portugal have acknowledged publicly that they are considering resettling the detainees, the newspaper said.

European nations refused repeated requests from the Bush administration to accept Guantanamo detainees, it added.

(Reporting by Joanne Allen; Editing by Alan Elsner)

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