"The State Department is working closely with the White House to appoint a new Special Envoy for Guantanamo Closure who will lead all diplomatic engagement related to closing the detention facility at Guantanamo," the Department of State spokesperson told Sputnik on Wednesday.
Although the Department of State would not say when the special envoy would be appointed to replace Clifford Sloan's current post, or who the agency was considering, the spokesperson said they hoped to find someone with "the same energy, determination and leadership that Cliff has brought to the position."
Since November, the United States has released 22 Guantanamo detainees to countries including Afghanistan, Uruguay, Saudi Arabia and Slovakia leaving 127 prisoners left at the detention facility, according to the Pentagon. Some have been staying in prison for years after having been cleared for release.
Earlier in December several media outlets reported that Sloan was resigning from his post due to frustration within the Department of State and White House over the Pentagon's slow pace at transferring approved Guantanamo prisoners.
However, both the Department of State as well as Sloan through US media reports, denied that the special envoy's resignation was triggered by frustration with the agency.
Leading up to Sloan's departure, President Obama has repeatedly discussed his intention to close Guantanamo Bay detention facility and to transfer the remaining prisoners on the island over the next six months, according to various media outlets.
In 2009, President Obama signed an executive order to close Guantanamo Bay describing the detention facility as a "sad chapter in American history." However, the closure of the Cuban prison site has yet to take place.