Palau Agrees to Take Up to 13 Uighurs From Gitmo

Props to Palau, for tentatively agreeing to take up to 13 of the Chinese Uighur muslims from Guantanamo.

It is one of the world's smallest countries, with about 20,000 people scattered over islands of lush tropical jungle. Most work in tourism, construction and farming.

China is not happy. [More...]

China has demanded all be sent home. Beijing has filed a formal objection to Palau's mission to the United Nations, Toribiong said. Palau, however, has no diplomatic relations with China. It recognizes Taiwan instead.

If the deal goes through, the Uighurs will be given work permits.

"If they come to Palau and become constructive, positive, friendly residents, it will be OK," he said. "We have 445 Muslims living with us right now. We have no problems."

About 30 percent of Palau's inhabitants are foreigners, mainly Filipinos and Bangladeshis. The majority of the nation is Christian.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been involved in the negotiations:

In a letter to Toribiong last week about resettling the detainees, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said a "successful resettlement arrangement would deepen the already strong and special relationship between the United States and Palau and help us move toward the closure of the Guantanamo Detention Facility, a problem of global concern." A copy of the letter was obtained by The Associated Press.

Palau's president, Johnson Toribiong, said "Already a handful of locals have asked about employing and housing the Uighurs."

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  • Display: Sort:
    Good for the detainees... (none / 0) (#1)
    by kdog on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 11:42:24 AM EST
    but I'd go easy on the praise for Palau until we find out the score about that 200 million dollar payoff.

    If that is what it takes to keep 'em away from a Beijing firing squad, so be it.  But I woulda taken in a dozen Uighurs for a small fraction of that action.

    Would youi conside becoming (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 11:50:01 AM EST
    US Ambassadpr to Palau?

    lol... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 12:01:48 PM EST
    Nah...I won't even take a civil service job much less an ambassador position...my conscience couldn't handle it.