Estonia accepts US request to take on Guantanamo Bay detainee

  • 2014-10-15
  • By Rayyan Sabet-Parry, RIGA

(photo: AFP)

Estonia will accept to take on a Guantanamo Bay detainee captured by US forces in Afghanistan following a request from US officials. 

Estonia's foreign minister Urmas Paet said the prisoner had been detained in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for many years and was captured by US forces in Afghanistan.

Speaking to Estonian television, Paet said taking on the prisoner would do no harm to security. The minister refused to reveal the identity and citizenship of the detainee. 

Meanwhile, Estonia's interior minister Hanno Pevkur met with United States Justice Minister Eric  Holder, FBI Director General James Comey and Deputy Secretary of Defense Derek Chollet in Washington, US on Tuesday for talks,

Following the meeting, Pevkur said Estonia would intensify cooperation with the United States on issues including Guantanamo and border security, Public Broadcasting reports.

"Given that last Thursday, the government made a fundamental decision to accept the United States request on receiving one Guantanamo detainee, the close cooperation between the respective authorities of Estonia and the United States is extremely important to ensure the sense of security of the Estonian state and people, but also the safety of the person who will arrive in Estonia," said Pevkur.

He added: "The experience of the USA in guarding their external borders and, for example, providing training for special units is definitely a support to us in the situation where we are forming a border guard fast reaction unit and developing the control line installations between Estonia and Russia."

The Minister also discussed at the meetings the situation in Ukraine, cyber security, terrorism and radicalization issues.

Pevkur has also meetings in the U.S. interior ministry, a meeting with U.S. Deputy Foreign Minister Victoria Nuland and participation in the Atlantic Council roundtable meeting on the Ukrainian topics scheduled for his U.S visit.