Austria rejects US Guantanamo detainee request

April 6, 2009 17:16


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Austria said Monday it would not take detainees from the Guantanamo Bay center despite a request by President Barack Obama for help from European nations during his first major international trip as leader. Austria was worried about the security threat to the European Union posed by the detainees, Interior Minister Maria Fekter told a meeting of her European counterparts. Obama repeated his request Sunday for European countries to take some of the 60 inmates who will have to go to another country as they could face abuse, imprisonment or death if returned to their homelands. He has ordered the center to close within a year of his taking office. Several EU countries, including the Czech Republic, which currently holds the EU presidency, have already declined to take inmates. "If the detainees are no longer dangerous, why don't they stay in the US," Fekter told the meeting. "For Austria, I cannot accept Guantanamo inmates."

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