Closing down Guantanamo prison quickly is a challenge: Obama

January 12th, 2009 - 3:10 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Jan 12 (Xinhua) US president-elect Barack Obama Sunday said that it is challenging to close down the Guantanamo prison in Cuba soon after his inauguration Jan 20.”I think it’s going to take sometime. Our legal teams are working in consultation with our national security apparatus as we speak to help design exactly what we need to do,” Obama said in an interview with ABC News.

When asked if he would manage to close the camp within his first 100 days as president, Obama said: “That’s a challenge”.

The president-elect said: “I don’t want to be ambiguous about this. We are going to close Guantanamo and we are going to make sure that the procedures we set up are ones that abide by our constitution.”

“That is not only the right thing to do but it actually has to be part of our broader national security strategy because we will send a message to the world that we are serious about our values,” he added.

The US opened the detention facility at its naval base in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba in January 2002, to hold terror suspects and Taliban members captured in the US-led war in Afghanistan.

According to the US defence department, 275 people held on suspicion of terrorism or links to Al Qaeda and the Taliban, are still under detention there.

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