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Obama Renews Push for Closing Guantanamo

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Washington – President Barack Obama has vowed a renewed push to close the military jail at Guantanamo Bay because he says it is damaging US interests. Obama’s announcement on Tuesday came as extra medical staff were sent to the centre to help address a hunger strike that spread to nearly two-thirds of the detainees.

He told a news conference that he had asked a team of officials to review the issue and would make another appeal to Congress to shut down the prison holding “terror” suspects in Cuba. Obama, who ordered the detention centre closed upon taking office but was thwarted repeatedly by Congress, said he was unsurprised that there were problems at the centre, where 100 of 166 inmates were now on hunger strike.

“It is critical for us to understand that Guantanamo is not necessary to keep America safe,” he said. “It is expensive. It is inefficient. It hurts us in terms of our international standing. It lessens co-operation with our allies on counter-terrorism efforts. It is a recruiting tool for extremists.” (Aljazeera)

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