Spain is now willing to take in 5 prisoners from the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, as opposed to the two prisoners it had committed to take in last month. Addressing reporters at a breakfast meeting, Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos specified that there would be no security concerns posed by the prisoners.
Moratinos also added that the transfer of the prisoners would be carried out with all the legal guarantees defending the security situation required by Spain. He said that the nationalities of the prisoners would be disclosed once they reach Spain.
Spain was requested to take in four prisoners by Barack Obama’s special envoy Daniel Fried and the Spanish officials have been receptive from the time they first met him in June in Madrid.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has been trying to establish good relations with the United States, after having angered former President George Bush in 2004 when he called Spanish peacekeepers back from Iraq. He also accepted to send more Spanish troops to Afghanistan on Obama’s behest for more forces to encounter the Taliban.
Most other European countries have agreed to take in one or two prisoners, with three being the maximum number taken in by any country excluding Spain.