CANBERRA, Australia, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Australia will not be among the nations accepting terror suspects now held at the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the government has announced.
Australian Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard, in the second such rejection within a year, said Saturday the latest decision was based on "stringent national security and immigration considerations," the BBC reported.
Gillard said the Bush administration had also asked Canberra to resettle "a small group of detainees" in early 2008, which was similarly turned down.
"Assessing those requests from a case-by-case basis, they had not met our stringent national security and immigration criteria and have been rejected," said Gillard, filling in for the vacationing Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has pledged to shut down controversial detention facility holding 255 "illegal combatants" in the U.S. war on terror. They include about 60 prisoners Washington has cleared for release.
One Australian Guantanamo detainee, David Hicks, the first to be convicted of supporting terrorism, was allowed to return home in May 2007 after pleading guilty, the BBC said.