04 August 2005
U.S. Announces Gradual Return of Many Detainees to Afghanistan
Releases joint statement with Afghan government
The United States will allow the gradual return of many Afghan detainees to Afghanistan as part of the strategic U.S.-Afghan partnership, according to a joint U.S.-Afghan statement released by the State Department August 4.
The statement said the Afghan government has agreed to accept responsibility for the returning Afghan citizens and will work to ensure that they do not pose a continuing threat to Afghanistan, the Coalition, or the international community as a whole.
Pierre-Richard Prosper, U.S. ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues, on July 21 said the United States is working to send home as many of the detainees held at the detention center at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base as possible, but it must first ensure that they no longer pose a threat as part of the global war on terrorism, that they will not return to fight U.S. and allied interests again, and that their home governments will take responsibility for them.
On July 20, the U.S. government announced a decision to release and transfer seven detainees from Guantanamo to authorities in Afghanistan, Jordan, Sudan and Saudi Arabia. In addition, Prosper said a Moroccan national was transferred early in the week of July 17 to his government for prosecution.
Following is the text of the State Department release August 4:
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
August 4, 2005
STATEMENT BY TOM CASEY, ACTING SPOKESMAN
Detainee Transfers to Afghanistan
The following is a joint Statement by the United States and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan:
During their May 2005 meetings, President Bush and President Karzai expressed a strong desire to return Afghan detainees to Afghanistan as part of the U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership.
Today, in implementing the Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership, Afghanistan and the United States reached an understanding that will allow for the gradual transfer of many Afghan detainees to the exclusive custody and control of the Afghan Government.
The Government of Afghanistan has agreed to accept responsibility for the returning Afghan citizens and will work to ensure that they do not pose a continuing threat to Afghanistan, the Coalition, or the international community as a whole. The United States is prepared to assist Afghanistan in capacity building, including infrastructure, and to provide training, as appropriate.
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
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