Portoguese Minister Amado's Letter on Guantanamo

"Lisbon, 10 December 2008

As we celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the international community is faced with difficult questions regarding the fight against terrorism and, among them, the issues posed by the existence of the Guantánamo Detention Centre.

As you recall, we undertook a reflection on the future of the transatlantic relations which produced an important policy toolbox. There has been a clear consensus throughout on the need to close this Detention Centre. The policy paper, we adopted in Marseille, clearly puts an emphasis on urging the US and the EU "to act together more in the Human Rights field, which would prove easier with the closure of the Guantánamo Detention camp".

I believe that Europe should draw the necessary conclusions from the debates held so far, both at political and legal expert level, as well as from the stated and welcomed intentions of the incoming US Administration. We have made significant progress in finding a common legal platform, and we must also acknowledge, in that regard, the more constructive attitude displayed by the US Department of State.

The time has come for the European Union to step forward. As a matter of principle and coherence, we should send a clear signal of our willingness to help the US Government in that regard, namely through the resettlement of detainees. As far as the Portuguese Government is concerned, we will be available to participate.

Building upon the work already carried out by the French Presidency, I propose that this specific issue be taken up by the GAERC.

Please accept, Dear Colleague, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Luis Amado
Minister of State and Foreign Affairs"

No comments: