Obama vows to work with Congress to close Guantanamo

Washington, Dec 19 (IANS) US President Barack Obama said on Friday he would try to work with the Republican-controlled Congress before saying anything about using the executive authority to close the Guantanamo military prison.

Speaking here at the annual year-end press conference, Obama put the possibility that he would use the executive authority to unilaterally close the Guantanamo prison at rest at least for now, noting that he would first try to persuade the Congress to pass a Pentagon plan which so far had not been submitted to Congress, Xinhua reported.

Also, Obama said he expected the population in the Guantanamo prison to drop to under 100 by early 2016.

As the end of Obama’s presidency is looming, the prospect of closing Guantanamo detention centre, a campaign promise made by Obama in 2008, becomes dim.

Currently, there are 112 detainees still in the Guantanamo detention centre, among whom 53 are eligible for transfer to other countries. To close the detention centre, the Obama administration had long sought to bring the rest of the prison population to a facility in the US but to no avail.

Under the current US law, without the consent of the Congress, the White House is banned from spending money on moving detainees to US homeland.

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