DUBLIN Ireland will take in two detainees from the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba within the next couple of months, a senior government official said on Wednesday.
Ireland has previously said it was looking at taking in two Uzbek prisoners identified for resettlement to help facilitate President Barack Obama's order that the prison for foreign terrorism suspects be closed by the end of January.
"I am conscious of the intention of the United States to close the center at Guantanamo Bay, in part by transferring detainees, no longer regarded as posing a threat to security but who cannot return to their own countries, to other countries willing to accept them," Ireland's Justice Minister Dermot Ahern said on Wednesday.
U.S. officials said last week they were still on track to shut the internationally condemned facility by January despite the delay of a key report into its closure. About 230 inmates remain.
Portugal and Italy have already agreed to rehouse prisoners while Hungary and Spain are in talks with the United States regarding the issue after European Union members said they were ready to help resettle detainees.
(Reporting by Carmel Crimmins)