Spain Will Accept Guantanamo Detainees

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Spain and the United States are starting to cozy up to each other again. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Miguel Angel Moratinos on Tuesday, where the Spanish Foreign Minister said Spain could accept prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, Reuters reports.

"The new Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has with her words and messages marked a new stage, in which Spain can have an active and much more intense role in the world," Moratinos said. The Americans have still to make specific requests as to the prisoners it might want Spain to accept, Moratinos said. "There is no maximum or minimum number of prisoners that Spain might take, we'll have to look at it case by case." There are currently about 250 prisoners at Guantanamo, and about 520 others have been transferred to other governments or released.

This move signals a shift in Spain’s relationship with the U.S. Things became strained after Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero pulled Spanish troops out of the Iraq war after taking office in 2004. Former President George Bush immediately blacklisted Zapatero, but there is hope that the Obama administration will work to repair ties.

"The new Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has with her words and messages marked a new stage, in which Spain can have an active and much more intense role in the world," Moratinos said. Reuters reports, Spanish officials hope the Obama administration will favor a more multilateral foreign policy approach and be favorable to Spain in the areas it considers to be of special interest, such as Latin America and North Africa.

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