Obama to lay out rationale for drone strikes in speech

WASHINGTON Wed May 22, 2013 7:57pm EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama listens to Myanmar's President Thein Sein in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington May 20, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing

U.S. President Barack Obama listens to Myanmar's President Thein Sein in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington May 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will lay out the rationale for U.S. drone strikes in a speech on Thursday, a White House official said.

"He will discuss why the use of drone strikes is necessary, legal, and just, while addressing the various issues raised by our use of targeted action," the official said.

The speech will coincide with the signing of new "Presidential Policy Guidance" to lay out standards for lethal drone strikes, the official said.

Obama will also reiterate his pledge to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where foreign terrorism suspects are held and "announce a number of specific steps to advance that goal," the official said.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Jeff Mason; editing by Christopher Wilson)

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