Obama: We Won't Make Gitmo Deadline

Pres tells Fox's Major Garrett prison will close after Jan 2010
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2009 5:40 AM CST
President Barack Obama attends his working lunch with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the Diaoyutai Guest House in Beijing, China, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – Guantanamo Bay prison won't close by the January deadline he set when he took office, President Obama admitted today, but he still hopes to shut it next year. Obama is "not disappointed" in missing the deadline, he says in a FoxNews interview airing this morning, since closing the facility is "technically hard" and people are understandably "fearful after a lot of years where they were told that Guantanamo was critical to keep terrorists out," the Washington Post reports.

Speaking from Beijing, Obama declined to set a new date for the closing, which he said depends on cooperation from Congress. Gitmo is a sore point between the US and China, since the US earlier this year refused to return Chinese Uighurs to China for fear they'd be treated as political prisoners, instead sending them to Bermuda and Palau.