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Ministers prepare for Guantánamo prisoners

European interior ministers say that their countries will only take on Guantánamo Bay prisoners after the security risks are carefully reviewed.

This content was published on June 4, 2009 - 15:34

Officials from the European Union's 27 member and their colleagues from Switzerland, Norway and Iceland agreed on Thursday that they would seek comprehensive information about each detainee.

This data would be shared by all EU states and members of the Schengen Area.

Swiss Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said the exchange of information was important because of the abolition of border controls within the Schengen Area.

This will allow countries "to prepare measures that they deem appropriate for their internal security".

Experts say European nations are keen to help the United States government meet its goal to close the prison at Guantánamo by taking in some detainees.

But the issue is awkward because open borders within Europe mean an ex-inmate received by one state could travel freely throughout most of the region.

The final decision about taking on Guantánamo inmates will be left to each government.

swissinfo.ch with agencies

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