GENEVA (Reuters) - Switzerland is studying how to help the United States resettle foreign prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay detention center, Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey said Friday.
Speaking after meeting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Calmy-Rey said the neutral country was seeking more information about the detainees to be moved from the military prison in Cuba that President Barack Obama has ordered closed.
“Regarding Guantanamo Bay, I confirmed to Mrs. Clinton that our government is ready to study a contribution that Switzerland could offer to help resolve this problem,” she told a news conference in Geneva.
“We are ready to examine how Switzerland could contribute to bring about a solution to this problem, to this question. We are now in a phase of clarifying the legal and security implications and I think we can count on the United States to ensure that these clarifications can occur in the best manner.”
She declined to say how many inmates Switzerland was prepared to take from the prison, which has held terrorism suspects captured mainly in Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001.
Washington wants its allies to help it close the Guantanamo center, where about 245 people remain detained, by accepting discharged prisoners who cannot return to their own countries for fear of torture.
Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Laura MacInnis; editing by Andrew Dobbie