10 Sep 2009

Three Uighurs agree to go to Palau from US detention

5:52 pm on 10 September 2009

Three ethnic Uighur Chinese Muslims jailed for years as terrorist suspects at the US prison at Guantanamo Bay have agreed to be released to Palau.

Lawyers for the three told The Associated Press they had formally accepted Washington's offer to relocate them to Palau.

The three are the first of a group of 13 Uighur detainees at Guantanamo who have been offered relocation to Palau amid US plans to close the controversial prison in Cuba.

Isaac Soaladaob, the chief of staff to Palau's President Johnson Toribiong, says the government had not been informed yet of any formal agreements but that the country is expecting the Uighur relocation plan to go ahead.

He says expect a number of men to move to Palau.

Negotiations are continuing with the rest of the group and of the 10 other Uighur detainees remaining at the Cuba base, none has ruled out moving to Palau.