Thursday, August 11, 2005

U.S. officials in Gitmo transfer talks

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States and at least 10 other nations are involved in negotiations that could drop the detainee population at Guantanamo Bay by 80 percent -- or 410 people -- within the coming months, State Department officials said.

Saudi Arabia and Yemen are among the countries in "various stages of discussion" with the Bush administration about the return of their citizens in the next two months, said the two U.S. officials who hold senior posts.

Last week the United States and Afghanistan announced an agreement on a similar transfer.

The United States has 510 detainees from 34 countries in custody at Guantanamo.

Citizens from Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Yemen account for the majority of those detainees with 129, 110 and 107 respectively, the two U.S. officials said.

Detainees whom the United States considers "really bad guys" will remain in Guantanamo, the officials said, but in coming months the facility population could drop to about 100.

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