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Guantanamo tops talks with US

Discussions over Switzerland's conditions in accepting Guantanamo detainees continued on Friday with an official state visit to Bern by an American diplomat.

This content was published on June 19, 2009 - 21:27

During a meeting with Daniel Fried of the US State Department, Swiss Secretary of State Michael Ambühl reiterated Switzerland's willingness to accept former detainees from the US military prison under certain conditions.

Little else filtered out of the meeting, though Swiss foreign ministry spokesman Jean-Philippe Jutzi said Switzerland "welcomed the American administration's willingness to close the prison."

Lisbeth Keefe, spokesperson and acting deputy chief of mission for the US embassy in Bern, was equally mum but added the meeting included brief discussions on other bilateral interests but offered no specifics.

Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf told Swiss radio that authorities were looking at the files of several detainees.

"We are going to make a decision in a few weeks," she said. "It isn't easy. Certain documents are missing."

To date there are 229 detainees being held at the facility in Cuba that President Barack Obama has said he would close.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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