Palau agrees to take in up to 17 Guantanamo prisoners

June 11th, 2009 - 1:45 am ICT by GD  

The United States of America has been finally successful in winning an agreement with the Palau authorities about the transfer of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to this sparsely populated island nation. This move was revealed in a statement released to The Associated Press by Palau authorities on Wednesday, 10th of June, 2009. According to the agreement the American government can transfer up to 17 prisoners of Chinese Muslim origin from the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to Palau which is situated in North Pacific.

The president of this island nation, Johnson Toribiong, commented that they had agreed to the proposal to “temporarily resettle” the detainees in a “humanitarian gesture.” This agreement is vastly significant because according to the records this is the largest single transfer of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. Moreover, this is the first major deal since President Obama has taken his position as the US president in January. President Obama had promised that he would consider all kinds of measures to close the dreaded prison within a year’s time. Experts believe that this move will also help the President to gain back mass support, which had wavered when there were talks of moving these “potentially dangerous extremists” into prisons on American soil.

The case of the 17 Chinese Muslims, who are also referred to as Uighurs, had come to a standstill when the appeals court overturned the ruling of the federal court, which had ordered the release of these prisoners, last fall. Since then America had been unable to persuade more than a 100 countries, whom they had contacted, to take in these prisoners. Finally, on Tuesday Palau agreed to take in up to 17 Chinese Muslims and America has promised $200 million in aid in return.

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