Hague presses Clinton to release Guantanamo inmate

British Foreign Secretary William Hague speaks during a news conference with his Egyptian counterpart Ahmed Aboul Gheit at the Egyptian Foreign Ministry in Cairo November 4, 2010. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Wednesday he urged the United States to send Guantanamo Bay inmate Shaker Aamer, the last British resident at the U.S. military prison in Cuba, back to Britain.

According to rights group Amnesty International, Aamer is a Saudi who moved to Britain in 1996 and was in Afghanistan doing voluntary work for an Islamic charity when he was captured by Northern Alliance fighters in 2001 and handed to U.S. forces.

The group said he was later transferred to the prison camp for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay naval base. President Barrack Obama has pledged to close the detention centre.

Aamer, who has not been charged with any crime, is married to a British national and lived with their four children in London before he was detained in Afghanistan.

Asked about the case in a speech at Washington’s Georgetown University, Hague said he had raised it with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“I have been discussing that with Secretary Clinton today and reiterated our position that we would like to see this gentleman returned to the United Kingdom and that is under consideration by the United States,” Hague said.

Aamer is one of about 180 prisoners left at the Guantanamo prison. Obama’s pledge to close the military prison within a year of taking office in January 2009 was derailed by political, legal and diplomatic problems.

Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Anthony Boadle