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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Slovakia to accept 3 Guantanamo Bay detainees
Sarah Miley at 2:03 PM ET

[JURIST] Slovakia's Foreign Ministry [official website, in Slovak] announced Tuesday that the government will accept three inmates from the Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detention facility. The ministry stated that this was a "gesture of solidarity" in support of President Barack Obama's foreign policy. The US Embassy in Slovakia [official website] released a statement stating:

The United States welcomes the announcement today by Slovak officials that the Government of Slovakia will accept 3 Guantanamo detainees for resettlement. The United States appreciates this act as a productive step in realizing President Obama's vision of closing the Guantanamo Bay detention center once and for all. We have had fruitful cooperation with Slovak authorities on this issue and will continue to collaborate as called for by our Slovak allies.

The Slovak government gave no details on the nationality, date of arrival, or location of the inmates, citing security reasons.

Earlier this week, a Spanish foreign ministry official confirmed that Spain will be accepting two detainees currently being held at Guantanamo Bay. Closure of the detention facility was initially due by January 22, 2010, but Obama recently confirmed [NYT report] that this deadline would not be met. The administration has run into several hurdles in closing the prison, including opposition from members of Congress and the recent suspension of detainee transfers to Yemen [JURIST report]. In November, the Center for American Progress [advocacy website] issued a report [JURIST report] blaming missteps by the Obama administration for the delay.

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