Washington: The US has announced the transfer of five detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as part of an effort to eventually close the detention centre in Cuba, the media reported on Monday.
The US Defense Department announced the move on Sunday, which leaves 107 detainees at the facility, CNN reported.
“The US is grateful to the government of the UAE for its willingness to support ongoing efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
“The US coordinated with the UAE to ensure these transfers took place consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures.”
Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said the US had transferred Ali Ahmad Muhammad al-Razihi, Khalid Abd-al-Jabbar Muhammad Uthman al-Qadasi, Adil Said al-Hajj Ubayd al-Busays, Sulayman Awad Bin Uqayl al-Nahdi and Fahmi Salem Said al-Asani to the UAE government.
President Obama has signed an executive order to begin the process of shutting down Guantanamo Bay before he leaves office in 2017.
However, members of Congress have blocked the move.
Detainees from nations actively battling Islamist extremists — such as Yemen — are not released to their countries to ensure they do not join terror groups once freed.