Sloan appointed as special envoy to close Gitmo
WASHINGTON (PAN): US Secretary of State John Kerry has appointed an experienced litigator, Cliff Sloan, as his special envoy to lead the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees abroad and manage the multitude of diplomatic issues related to President Barack Obama’s directives to close the detention facility.
“This decision or this announcement reflects the administration’s commitment to closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily news conference. Sloan would resume his duty on July 1.
She said the continued operation of Guantanamo was not efficient, effective, or in the interests of US national security.
“Special Envoy Sloan brings a wealth of experience as an accomplished litigator and pragmatic problem-solver to implement transfer determinations, and conduct a periodic review of those detainees who are not approved for transfer,” Psaki said.
Currently there are 166 detainees at the Guantanamo detention centre, down from 242 when Obama took office in January 2009.
“Given Mr. Sloan’s background as somebody who has been a successful litigator, has been a negotiator, he’s argued before the Supreme Court, he’s worked closely with Congress and a number of the key players here, we felt, the Secretary felt, and the President certainly supported our efforts to name a high-level official like this to lead the charge moving forward,” she said.
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