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SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia has been approached by U.S. authorities about taking some of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba when it closes, a report said on Saturday.
A spokesman for Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told The Australian newspaper any requests would be considered on a case-by-case basis.
“Australia, along with a number of other countries, has been approached to consider resettling detainees from Guantanamo Bay,” the spokesman was quoted saying.
“Any determination for an individual to come to Australia would be made on a case-by-case basis.
“All persons accepted to come to Australia would have to meet Australia’s strict legal requirements and go through the normal and extremely rigorous assessment processes.”
U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has said he will close the detention center located at the U.S. naval station in southeastern Cuba after he assumes office.
The jail, which has come to symbolize aggressive detention practices that opened the United States to allegations of torture, currently holds about 250 detainees, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, accused of masterminding the September 11 attacks.
Under conservative former prime minister John Howard, Australia was a vocal supporter of outgoing U.S. President George W. Bush’s war on terrorism launched after September 11.