US President Joe Biden's administration on Friday (local time)will launch a review of Guantanamo Bay Military Base prison in Cuba with the goal of shuttering the facility, the White House.
"Well, that (closure of prison) certainly is our goal and our intention, and we are three weeks in. I realized at a certain point, I can't say that anymore, but we are still just three and a half weeks in. We are undertaking an NSC process, which is how it should work, to work with the inter-agency, I should say, to assess the current state of play that the Biden administration has inherited from the previous administration," said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki during a press briefing.
She further said: "I would note that in order to see this process through completely and thoroughly, there are a number of key policy roles that still need to be filled within the inter-agency, including sub-cabinet policy roles, at Defense State and the Justice Department, because there are many players from different agencies who need to be a part of this policy discussion about the steps forward."
The prison was opened during the George W Bush administration to hold foreign terror suspects following the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. The prison housed around 800 prisoners at its peak, but the population was whittled down substantially under former President Barack Obama, reported The Hill.
Obama sought to close the prison but was unable to do so during his term as Republicans opposed the effort and Congress blocked Obama from closing the prison in defense legislation.
Obama's successor Donald Trump reversed those plans, signing a directive in 2018 keeping the military prison open. However, he expressed unease at the cost of detaining prisoners at the prison the following year, however, after The New York Times reported that it cost more than USD 540 million to keep the detention facility running.
( With inputs from ANI )
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