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Hungary in talks to take in Guantanamo detainees

By | June 19th 2009


Hungary and the United States are in talks about resettling in Hungary "a small number" of prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a senior U.S. diplomat said on Thursday.

Daniel Fried, assistant secretary of state for European affairs, who is in charge of resettling negotiations, said Hungary was one of a number of European countries in such talks.

Spain and Italy already offered to put up a few detainees each, and other countries will probably include Portugal, Fried told reporters.

U.S. President Barack Obama ordered the Guantanamo facility closed by January of next year and the inmates of the prison for terrorism suspects relocated or released.

The U.S. has struggled to place the 200-plus detainees it chose not to prosecute. With the Obama administration facing resistance to release them in the U.S., it is Fried's job to place them elsewhere.

"These were good talks, they were constructive," Fried said of the Budapest negotiations. "We are now past generalities. Our discussions will continue; no one has made a commitment."

The U.S. will not pay countries to take in detainees, he added.


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