Obama reiterates vow to close prison at Guantanamo Bay

Campaign News | Monday, 17 November 2008

US president-elect Barack Obama, reiterated his vow to close the prison located at the Guantanamo military base in southeastern Cuba, a territory that is illegally occupied by Washington.

"I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through on that," vowed Obama on the CBS 60-minute program on Sunday, in his first television interview after winning the presidential election November 4.

Closing the detention center would be one of the clearest signals of a break with the George W. Bush mandate, Obama's advisors told The

Washington Post last week, according to Prensa Latina news agency.

Several international organizations, governments allied to the White House and more recently five former US secretaries of state have recommended the closure of the Guantanamo prison.

According to analysts, the greatest challenge for Obama would be where to send the hundreds of prisoners that are kept in Guantanamo, some of whom have a record of terrorist crimes.

Obama also confirmed to CBS his intention to withdraw troops from Iraq, and put an end to a war that has cost more than 4,000 American lives

since 2003.

He said that as soon as he takes office on January 20, he and his security advisers will "start executing a plan that withdraws our

troops" from Iraq.

According to Obama's statements, he will be looking to withdraw the majority of the troops in a period of 16 months, starting from taking

office to end in the summer of 2010.

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