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U.S. Pentagon Names Special Envoy For Guantanamo Issues

A guard walks through a cell block used to house detainees at a U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (file photo)
The Pentagon has named a special envoy for closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

The U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Paul M. Lewis as the new envoy on October 8.

Hagel said the appointment is part of a directive announced by President Barack Obama in May.

Obama created the position when he outlined steps to hasten the closure of Guantanamo prison for terrorism suspects and to transfer detainees to other countries.

He then said that he would lift a ban on transferring Guantanamo prisoners to Yemen and would ask the Congress to lift restrictions on moving detainees to other countries.

He also asked the Defense Department to designate a site within the United States where military trials for Guantanamo detainees could be held.

Lewis has previously overseen Guantanamo-related issues as an attorney for the House Armed Services Committee.

Based on reporting by AP and DPA