Obama recommits to shutting down Guantanamo Bay

US President-elect Barack Obama said he was unlikely to close Guantanamo Bay in his first 100 days of...

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<?xml:namespace prefix="st1" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags"?><country-region w:st="on">US</country-region> President-elect Barack Obama said he was unlikely to close <place w:st="on"><placename w:st="on">Guantanamo<placetype w:st="on">Bay in his first 100 days of office.<?xml:namespace prefix="o" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office"?>

The Democrat had promised to make the move as part of his campaign for the White House but guaranteed that he would still shut the facility down.

Speaking in a <country-region w:st="on">US</country-region> television interview, Obama said he was creating a special team to handle the <place w:st="on">Middle East crisis.

"What I am doing right now is putting together the team so that starting on day one, we have the best possible people who are going to be immediately engaged in the <place w:st="on">Middle East peace process as a whole."

He also mentioned <country-region w:st="on"><place w:st="on">Iran</country-region>, saying it would be one of his biggest challenges, adding that his approach would be one borne of respect for the country’s people.

Obama said he would not rule out possible prosecution for abuses committed under the George Bush administration, saying no one was above the law.

"We’re still evaluating how we’re going to approach the whole issue of interrogations, detentions, and so forth. Obviously we’re going to be looking at past practices and I don’t believe that anybody is above the law."

Obama was set to take over as the 44th <country-region w:st="on"><place w:st="on">US</country-region> president on 20 January.