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    US Awaits Congress’ Decision to Transfer Gitmo Prisoners - White House

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    The White House spokesperson confirmed the US readiness to transfer the Guantanamo detainees currently held in Cuba while awaiting for the Congress approval.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States has the capacity to hold the detainees currently held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba, but the Obama administration is awaiting Congress to allow their transfer, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest stated on Thursday.

    "The United States of America has the capacity to solve this problem," Earnest said during a press briefing. "What we need now is just the political will of members of Congress to allow the administration to do it."

    Earnest’s remarks come as the US Department of Defense has been trying to find possible sites in the United States to move the prisoners.

    The Obama administration has said it plans to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility by the end Obama’s term in office.

    Earnest noted that the United States already hosts "dozens of convicted terrorists" in prisons on American soil.

    "Our goal has been to find a responsible way to transfer all the detainees from the prison at Guantanamo Bay and that means continuing on our ongoing efforts to find appropriate places with appropriate measures in place to transfer detainees to other countries," Earnest said. "But it may be given the complexity of some of those cases necessary to transfer some individuals to the United States."

    The Defense Department recently sent teams to US military barracks in Kansas and South Carolina to assess the possibility of moving the Guantanamo detainees there. However, lawmakers from those two states have opposed hosting the Guantanamo detainees.

    Since taking office in 2009, Obama has released or transferred well over half of the detainees from the Guantanamo Bay facility. Hundred and sixteen detainees still remain at the detention facility.

    Related:

    Pentagon Seeks to End Restrictions Preventing Gitmo Closure - Spokesman
    Pentagon On the Lookout for New Home for Gitmo Detainees
    US, Cuba Likely to Form Joint Committee to Address Gitmo Issue – Institute
    Obama Seeks Legal Loophole in Strategy to Close Gitmo - Former CIA Officer
    Tags:
    detainees, Guantanamo Bay detention center, Gitmo, US Department of Defense (DoD), Josh Earnest, Cuba, United States
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