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White House finishing latest plan for closing Guantanamo

Published 22/07/2015

Detainees in a holding area at Guantanamo (US Department of Defence/PA)
Detainees in a holding area at Guantanamo (US Department of Defence/PA)
President Barack Obama wants to close Guantanamo

The US administration is in the "final stages" of drafting its latest plan to close the prison holding terrorism detainees at Guantanamo Bay, a White House spokesman said.

President Barack Obama's efforts to shut the prison have been stymied by opponents in Congress for years.

Press secretary Josh Earnest said closing Guantanamo remains a priority and it is a waste to spend more than 100 million dollars per year on a prison holding only 116 detainees. He said terrorists also use Guantanamo Bay as a recruiting tool.

Mr Earnest said the president has decided to veto a defence spending bill now being negotiated in Congress if it includes provisions that would make it harder to close the prison.

But Mr Obama has failed to carry out similar veto threats in the past.

Protesters from many groups have called for Barack Obama to close Guantanamo Bay for many years
Protesters from many groups have called for Barack Obama to close Guantanamo Bay for many years
Detainees in a holding area at Guantanamo (US Department of Defence/PA)
Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg
US Army Military Police escort a detainee to his cell at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (US Department of Defence/PA)
US Army Military Police escort a detainee to his cell at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (US Department of Defence/PA)
A prisoner is transported by a woman guard at Guantanamo (AP)
Protesters from Amnesty International dressed in orange jump suits and masks, hold placards requesting that President of the United States, Barack Obama, closes Guantanamo, as they congregate outside the Waterfront, Belfast, ahead of the G8 summit
Guantanamo guards keep watch over a cell block with detainees in Camp 6 maximum-security facility, at Guantanamo Bay (AP/Brennan Linsley)

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