Chile president 'evaluates' taking Guantanamo inmates

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said Friday her government was considering taking in detainees from the US prison at Guantanamo Bay.

The South American country had previously said the United States contacted it in 2010 about accepting prisoners from the jail, a political thorn in US President Barack Obama's side as he seeks to fulfill his long-delayed promise to close it.

"As we've said, the specific requests are being evaluated to ensure Chile can be a country of refuge for those who need help, but also to ensure security in our country," said the leftist leader.

"We've just begun the process of opening this conversation, and the issue will be evaluated in good time."

Bachelet made the comments during a visit to Uruguay, which has agreed to take six Guantanamo detainees but says no date for the transfer has been set.

Bachelet said she and her Uruguayan counterpart Jose Mujica had discussed the matter, but did not give details.

Proposals to take in Guantanamo inmates have met with opposition in both countries.

There are 149 inmates still at the prison on the eastern tip of Cuba, set up under former president George W. Bush after the September 11, 2001 attacks.