The Pentagon announced it has sent a Yemeni prisoner from Guantanamo Bay to Montenegro in the first of a new round of releases from the U.S. base in Cuba.
U.S. officials cleared Abdel Malik Abdel Wahab al-Rahabi for release in March 2014, but the Obama administration does not send Guantanamo prisoners back to Yemen because of the civil war there. It took two years to find another government which would take in the former Al-Qaeda bodyguard.
Lee Wolosky, a special envoy at the U.S. State Department, said on June 22 that the United States is grateful Montenegro was willing to take in a second prisoner this year.
"Montenegro now joins other U.S. friends and allies in Europe in accepting multiple detainees for resettlement, bringing us closer to our shared goal of closing the facility," he told AP.
There are now 79 prisoners at Guantanamo, including 29 who have been cleared to be sent home or to other countries for resettlement.
Officials expect to release most of those cleared in the coming weeks, leaving mostly men who have been charged or convicted of war crimes or who authorities believe are too dangerous to release.
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters