US names envoy to oversee closing Guantanamo

March 13th, 2009 - 3:03 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 13 (DPA) The US Thursday named a veteran diplomat to oversee the closure of the detention centre at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and potential transfer of prisoners to other countries.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named Daniel Fried, currently the department’s top official for European relations, as the envoy for shutting Guantanamo, State Department spokesman Robert Wood said.

“Ambassador Fried’s extensive experience will be an invaluable asset as we seek the assistance of foreign governments in moving toward the closure of the detention facility,” Wood said.

Days after taking office, President Barack Obama ordered the closure of the controversial facility in Cuba and a review of the cases of 245 inmates. The US hopes to transfer some of the detainees to European countries.

Under the Bush administration, the task was left to the top State Department official for war crimes. Some European countries have expressed a greater willingness to take some detainees under the Obama administration.

Fried served as assistant secretary of state for European affairs during the second half of the Bush administration.

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