Wire: Obama to Pay Palau to Take Guantanamo's Chinese detainees
Off the Wire:
WASHINGTON, June 10, 2009 -- Newswire services reported this morning that Palau has agreed to accept 17 Chinese Muslims from the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay.
The announcement Wednesday by the Pacific archipelago, which would clear the last of the Uighurs from the camp in Cuba, was one step toward the Obama administration's goal of finding new homes for detainees who have been cleared of wrongdoing but cannot go home for fear of ill-treatment.
The Associated Press reported that two U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. was prepared to give Palau up to $200 million in development, budget support and other assistance in return for accepting the Uighurs and as part of a mutual defense and cooperation treaty that is due to be renegotiated this year.
President Johnson Toribiong said the decision of Palau, one of a handful of countries that does not recognize China and maintains diplomatic relations with Taiwan, was "a humanitarian gesture" intended to help the detainees restart their lives. His archipelago, with a population of about 20,000, will accept up to 17 of the detainees subject to periodic review, Toribiong said in a statement released to The Associated Press.
China, which has demanded the men be extradited to their homeland and pressured countries not to accept them, had no immediate reaction.
(Report from newswire sources.)
Source: Palau to take Guantanamo's Chinese detainees
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