Monday, December 15, 2014

Pope Francis Bids to Help US Close Guantanamo; Says Vatican Global Contacts Can Place Prisoners

The Vatican today (December 15, 2014) offered to help the United States in its efforts to close its Guantanamo prison in Cuba -- a goal fervently supported by Pope Francis -- the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website reports.

The offer came during talks today between the pontiff's Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, the number two in the Vatican hierarchy, and John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said the Holy See welcomed recent signs President Barack Obama appears to have accelerated efforts to close the controversial prison, where some detainees have been held for more than a decade without charge and tortured.

He also said the Vatican stood ready to "help find adequate humanitarian solutions through our international contacts" in order to help place detainees, adding that Parolin and Kerry discussed the issue in depth.

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