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US tried to get rid of Gitmo detainees

world Updated: Dec 01, 2010 01:06 IST
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State Department cables obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to a number of news organizations reveal the efforts by the US to safely reduce the population of the Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba so that it could eventually be closed.

American diplomats went looking for countries that were not only willing to take prisoners but also could be trusted to keep them under close watch.

The officials sweet-talked and haggled with their foreign counterparts in an effort to resettle the detainees who had been cleared for release but could not be repatriated for fear of mistreatment, the cables show.

Slovenia, seeking a meeting with President Obama, was encouraged to “do more” on detainee resettlement if it wanted to “attract higher-level attention from Washington”.

The Maldives tied acceptance of prisoners to US help in obtaining International Monetary Fund assistance, while the Bush administration offered the Pacific nation of Kiribati “an incentive package” of $3 million to take 17 Chinese Muslim detainees.