Communiqué issued by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs
Paris, December 1 2009
Saber Lahmar, an Algerian national, arrived in France today from the Guantanamo detention centre where he had been held since 2002.
The courts of several countries, including that of the United States which ordered his release, recognized M. Lahmar to be innocent of any charges relating to involvement in potential terrorist activities. His case was examined by the US and French authorities in the light of the legal and security implications.
By deciding to accept a second former detainee, France is therefore helping, like other European and non-European States, to implement the decision taken by President Obama, following his inauguration, to close the Guantanamo detention centre. We have chosen to lend our support to the implementation of this decision, which meets an expectation the European Union has been voicing for a long time.
Starting today, efforts have to focus on helping M. Lahmar’s integration into France. After being held for seven years in Guantanamo, M. Lahmar can finally resume a normal life. For this, he must be afforded, during the coming weeks, the necessary conditions of calm and security./.