Portugal agrees to take up to 3 Guantanamo detainees

Portugal agrees to take up to 3 Guantanamo detainees

[JURIST] Portugal will accept two or three Guantanamo detainees [JURIST news archive] already cleared for release, Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado [official profile] said [audio, in Portuguese] in an interview Saturday. Amado indicated that the Portuguese Ministry of Internal Affairs [official website] would have to determine the legal framework for receiving the detainees. The agreement resulted from a meeting on Friday between Amado and US Ambassador Daniel Fried [profile], the special envoy designated [press release] in March by the Obama administration to seek foreign government assistance in closing down the Guantanamo prison. In December Luis sent a letter [JURIST report] to EU foreign ministers urging EU members to take in any detainees released from the facility.

Last week the Council of the European Union [official website] and the US jointly released a statement [text, DOC; JURIST report] outlining the terms of agreement for EU countries planning to accept Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees, but the agreement leaves the final decision to accept detainees to each individual country. Also last week, the Italian government agreed [press conference transcript] to take in three specific Guantanamo detainees, while the Spanish government agreed to consider [JURIST news report] taking in four detainees as long as they pass security clearance and they are willing to be transferred.