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France wants common EU policy on Guantanamo prisoners


Paris : France Friday called for a common European Union (EU) policy to deal with prisoners currently held in the US prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after the camp is closed as planned by president-elect Barack Obama in 2009.

The French foreign ministry said here in a statement that the government welcomed Obama’s plan to close the prison, where suspected terrorists are held, but there had to be a common European policy on any prisoners being relocated to Europe.

It was not immediately clear if France was willing to accept any of the former Guantanamo prisoners.

A representative of the ministry said Friday that it would not be commenting on the issue at present.

The German government is already preparing to receive Guantanamo detainees, while Spain has also said it is willing to accept some of them.

Obama has said he plans to close the prison camp, which was set up in the aftermath of the Sep 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the US.

Many of the 250 prisoners in the camp have been held for years without charge, prompting criticism from human rights organisations.