13 Jun 2009

Palau offered US$200m to take Chinese detainees off US - report

9:30 am on 13 June 2009

Reports from Palau say the US is prepared to give Palau up to 200 million US dollars in assistance in return for accepting 17 Chinese Uighurs which the US has held in Guantanamo Bay for the past eight years.

The Marianas Variety newspaper says the figures were given by two federal officials on condition of anonymity.

Palau's, Johnson Toribiong, says he is in favour of accepting them, describing the decision as a humanitarian gesture intended to help them.

But that's despite local opposition.

"When the United States made the request to us, we asked the question, is the request just, is the request right, and the answer was yes, in order to assist our ally the United States, we decided to have these detainees settle in our island nation."

Meanwhile, four of the Uighur detainees are reported to be have been flown to Bermuda, a British overseas territory, that has sparked a row with London, which says it wasn't consultant.