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U.S. Asks Germany To Take Guantanamo Inmates

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has said Germany should take in former Guantanamo inmates.
BERLIN (Reuters) -- The United States has made a formal request to Germany to take in some prisoners held at its military prison in Guantanamo Bay, a spokesman for Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has said.

Confirming a report to appear in "Der Spiegel" news magazine on May 4, the spokesman said the ministry is currently reviewing the request. He declined to provide further details.

Der Spiegel said the United States has asked Germany to take about 10 prisoners who cannot be sent to their home countries and who are classified as not posing a security threat.

Schaeuble, a leader in Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, has expressed reservations about Germany accepting detainees.

But Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a Social Democrat leader and chancellor candidate, has said Germany should take in some prisoners as a token of solidarity after Germany had long urged the United States to close the prison.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in Berlin last week that Washington has identified about 30 inmates in Guantanamo Bay who are ready to be released.

U.S. President Barack Obama, in one of his first acts after taking office, ordered that the prison be closed within a year.

Some European countries, including France and Portugal, have signaled a readiness to accept former Guantanamo inmates.