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Uruguayan president agrees to take six detainees from Guantanamo

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Uruguayan presidentUruguayan President José Mujica said Thursday that his nation is willing to accept six detainees from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — one of the largest groups of Arab detainees to be released to a third country.

But the Obama administration should move fast, Mujica said.  “It can’t be too long,” he said in an interview. “I only have a few months of government left.”

The Obama administration has long pledged to close the 12-year-old military facility, which has been assailed by human rights groups for its prolonged detention of suspects without charge. U.S. officials have struggled to resettle or repatriate prisoners, but Mujica quickly agreed to a request about four months ago to take some inmates.

The men whom Uruguay would accept are among a group that has been especially difficult to move — Arabs who have been cleared for release but can’t return to their nations, either because of war, fear of torture or security concerns about their home countries. The offer could free the last four Syrian detainees at Guantanamo Bay, along with a Palestinian and a Tunisian.


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