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Page last updated at 13:02 GMT, Friday, 3 April 2009 14:02 UK

France 'to take Guantanamo man'

Guantanamo Bay prison camp
Barack Obama is hoping to shut down Guantanamo within a year

President Nicolas Sarkozy says France has offered to accept a prisoner from the US-run Guantanamo Bay prison camp, in order to help it be shut down.

Welcoming US President Barack Obama to France, he said he was "proud and happy" that Mr Obama had decided to shut the camp down.

Talks between the US and France have centred on the transfer of an Algerian detainee, according to reports.

The US has been struggling to find countries to accept the inmates.

Mr Obama has pledged to close the camp within a year, but more than 200 men remain there, most of whom have been held for years without trial.

Many of them cannot be sent to their home countries for fear that their lives would be in danger there.

The US is therefore seeking third countries to take in some of the detainees.

Albania is the only country to have done so so far, but others including Portugal and Sweden have said they will.

The identity of the Algerian likely to be taken in by France has not been disclosed officially.

But AFP news agency says two Algerian nationals - Lakhdar Boumediene, 42, and Saber Lahmar, 39 - were cleared for release last November by a US judge who ruled they had been detained illegally.

They were arrested in Bosnia in 2001 and have been at Guantanamo for seven years.



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