Hungary Latest Country Asked to Accept Gitmo Prisoners
The United States officially asked Hungary Thursday to accept former inmates from its "war-on-terror" prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, a Hungarian foreign ministry spokeswoman said.
"Hungary is likely to take one or two former detainees provided they get the green light from parliament after a national security check-up," Zsuzsanna Matrai told AFP.
U.S. envoy Daniel Fried, who came to Hungary from Spain where he had negotiated Madrid's acceptance of four detainees, handed Budapest a formal U.S. request to take on former Guantanamo inmates as well as information relating to the transfer, she said.
"We are going to study each case, taking the safety of Hungary and of Hungarians as our first priority," Matrai said, adding that the number of detainees Budapest would accept had yet to be decided.
Hungary already said in February that it was ready to consider accepting former prisoners from Guantanamo.
EU foreign ministers on Monday endorsed a deal with the U.S. on transferring Guantanamo inmates to Europe, while stressing that the decision to accept any inmate was up to individual European governments.
U.S. President Barack Obama has ordered the controversial detention centre to close by January 22, 2010, and has set up a review of the cases involving about 240 prisoners from 30 countries still held at the remote U.S. naval base.