On the OSCEPA Visit to the Naval Detention Facility at Guantanamo Bay: Statement to the PC

On January 27, 2015, Isabel Santos of Portugal, Chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions, and Vice-Chair Mehmet Sevki Kulkuloglu of Turkey, traveled to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility at the invitation of the United States.

The parliamentarians issued a joint statement on January 29, which said in part, “[w]e applaud the commitment of the U.S. government to close the facility, but the United States cannot achieve this alone.  It requires the support of all OSCE countries.”

The United States remains committed to closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.  President Obama said in his State of the Union address on January 20, “[W]e’ve worked responsibly to cut the population of [Guantanamo] in half.  Now it’s time to finish the job. And I will not relent in my determination to shut it down.  It’s not who we are.  It’s time to close [Guantanamo].”

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

As delivered by Deputy Chief of Mission Kate Byrnes to the Permanent Council, Vienna | February 5, 2015