Saturday, January 3, 2009

Australia tells US it won't accept Gitmo detainees

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia has told the United States for a second time that it will not resettle detainees freed from the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba, the acting prime minister said Saturday.

Julia Gillard said U.S. President George W. Bush's administration was told Friday that a request made in early December to resettle an unspecified number of detainees had been rejected.

"Assessing those requests from a case-by-case basis, they had not met our stringent national security and immigration criteria and have been rejected," said Gillard, who is filling in for Prime Minister Kevin Rudd while he is on vacation.

She said the government had rejected a similar resettlement request in early 2008.

The Bush administration made the latest request after U.S. President-elect Barack Obama promised to close the prison.

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