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Obama Remains Hopeful of Closing Guantanamo Bay Before Term Ends

  • President says keeping prison open is huge burden on taxpayers
  • Says center’s existence ‘clouds’ counter-terrorism efforts
This photo made during an escorted visit and reviewed by the US military, shows the razor wire-topped fence at the abandoned 'Camp X-Ray' detention facility at the US Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, April 9, 2014.

U.S. President Barack Obama said he remained hopeful of being able to close the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay before he leaves office in January.

“I am not ready to concede that it may still remain open because we’re still working diligently to continue to shrink the population,” Obama said Thursday at a briefing following a summit with Southeast Asian leaders in Vientiane, Laos. “It’s not necessary and it’s hugely expensive for taxpayers.”