Hungary Says It Will Take Guantanamo Prisoner

By: CNN
By: CNN

(CNN) -- Hungary has agreed to accept a prisoner from the U.S. military's detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and will allow the man to remain free, a government spokesman said Wednesday.

Officials have not decided which prisoner will be released to the eastern European nation, spokesman Domokos Szollar said.

The former prisoner will not be able to leave Hungary and there will be measures in place to protect him and Hungarian citizens, Szollar said.

Talks between the United States and Hungary have been underway since June, when U.S. officials asked the NATO partner to accept a Guantanamo prisoner, Szollar said. Hungary accepted, he said, because the nation's leaders see it as part of the country's commitment to NATO. Szollar said there were no business or political deals attached to the agreement.

The former prisoner will participate in an integration program that will include psychological training and coaching, Szollar said. Hungarian officials hope the man will be a full member of society within two years.

Hungary has supported U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hungary sent 300 troops to Iraq in August 2003 and withdrew them in early 2005. About 250 Hungarian troops are deployed in Afghanistan.

The U.S. military's prison camp at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station houses detainees accused by the United States of participating in terrorist acts or belonging to terrorist groups. It opened in 2002, shortly after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in New York and Washington.

President Barack Obama wants the detainment facility closed in January, but has met challenges from Congress and in court.


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