DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, and Oman said on Monday it accepted 10 inmates from the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, ahead of President Barack Obama leaving office, a part of his efforts to reduce the size of the facility he promised to close.
There was no immediate word from the U.S. Department of Defense about the transfer.
Oman is the Ministry of Foreign affairs said in a statement that the state-run Oman News Agency that it had accepted that the prisoners in Obama’s request. It is not the name of the prisoners.
Omani and U.S. military officials not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.
The sultanate of Oman, on the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula, who had previously accepted the 10 Guantanamo prisoners from Yemen in January 2016. Oman also took another six in June 2015. Meanwhile, Oman’s neighbor Saudi Arabia took four prisoners on Jan. 5, and the United Arab Emirates has 15 prisoners in the largest-one transfer during Obama’s administration on Aug. 15.
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Oman, ruled by Sultan Qaboos bin Said since 1970, has served as an interlocutor between the West and Iran. It has also negotiated a number of prisoner releases in the past years for the Western countries.
Yemen, the Arab world is the poorest country remains in the grip of a civil war and a Saudi-led military offensive against the rebels — the making of the return of the Guantanamo prisoners was impossible.
Days earlier, authorities said that 19 of the remaining 55 prisoners at the AMERICAN military base on Cuba were approved for release and could be freed in the last days of Obama’s presidency.
It was part of an attempt by Obama to the shrinkage in the prison because he could not close.
The AMERICAN President-elect, Donald Trump said during his campaign that he not only wants to keep Guantanamo open, but “load it up with a number of bad guys.”
The U.S. began with its military base on the south-east of Cuba isolated and rocky coast to hold prisoners captured during the invasion of Afghanistan, so that the first planeload on Jan. 11, 2002, and reaching a peak of 18 months later, of nearly 680.
There were 242 detainees when Obama took office in 2009, pledging to close what became a source of international criticism about the treatment of detainees and the notion of holding people indefinitely, most without charges.
Obama was unable to close Guantanamo, because of the Parliamentary opposition to the keeping of one of the men in the United States. That eventually became a ban on the transfer of AMERICAN soil, for any reason, including process and not close to the centre of the detention of a part of his legacy.
The majority of the Guantanamo detainees released have been sent to Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.