10 EU Countries, Others, in Deals to Take Gitmo Detainees

White House upbeat on 80 cleared for release
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2009 8:40 AM CDT
In this photo May 14, 2009 file photo, Guantanamo detainees pray before dawn near a fence of razor-wire inside the exercise yard at Camp 4 detention facility, at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)
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(Newser) – The White House, in talks ranging from Australia to Georgia, is making progress on its attempts to resettle Guantanamo Bay detainees, the Washington Post reports. Ten EU countries have agreed to take detainees; the US is negotiating with Saudi Arabia to accept Guantanamo's 98 Yemenis; and 11 detainees, including four Chinese Uighurs taken by Bermuda, have already been released abroad.

Negotiators credit their success to President Obama's political capital abroad, which has trumped expected resistance to taking detainees. Upcoming talks will target countries in South America, the Persian Gulf, the Balkans, and Eastern Europe; one post-Soviet state, Georgia, joked that it will take every Guantanamo detainee if the US builds a military base on its soil to guard against neighboring Russia.