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Obama stresses Guantanamo should be closed

January 29, 2014, 9:48 UTC+3

“With the Afghan war ending, this needs to be the year Congress lifts the remaining restrictions," the president said

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WASHINGTON, January 29. /ITAR-TASS/. US President Barack Obama insists on the soonest closure of Guantanamo military prison. He made this statement in his annual State of the Union address on Tuesday.

“With the Afghan war ending, this needs to be the year Congress lifts the remaining restrictions on detainee transfers (to other countries) and we close the prison at Guantanamo Bay,” Obama said.

Overall, the US president admitted that the terrorism threat persists. “While we have put Al Qaeda’s core leadership on a path to defeat, the threat has evolved, as al Qaeda affiliates and other extremists take root in different parts of the world. In Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, and Mali, we have to keep working with partners to disrupt and disable these networks,” the president noted.

He also stressed the necessity to “combat new threats like cyberattacks”.

In addition, Obama pledged to reform American surveillance programs. He explained that “the vital work of our intelligence community depends on public confidence, here and abroad, that the privacy of ordinary people is not being violated.”

Obama in his address also touched upon the situation in Ukraine.

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