Viewing cable 09VILNIUS68
Title: (S) LITHUANIA POISED TO ACCEPT GTMO DETAINEES

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
09VILNIUS682009-01-30 12:40:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 SECRET Embassy Vilnius
O 301240Z JAN 09
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3253
INFO USEU BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE
S E C R E T VILNIUS 000068 
 
 
FOR S/WCI AND EUR/NB 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/29/2019 
TAGS: PTER PREL LH
SUBJECT: (S) LITHUANIA POISED TO ACCEPT GTMO DETAINEES 
 
REF: VILNIUS 44 (NOTAL) AND PREVIOUS 
 
Classified By: CDA Damian Leader for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
¶1. (S) Summary:  Lithuania is ready to move expeditiously to 
approve resettlement of two detainees from Guantanamo Bay and 
has asked that we put our request into a formal letter from 
the Secretary.  The Foreign Minister also asked that a team 
from Washington be prepared to come and brief senior GOL 
officials in the near future on details about the detainees 
in question, and the arrangements that Lithuania will need to 
make in order to accept them.  Action request in paragraph 6. 
 End summary. 
 
¶2. (S) Prime Minister Kubilius told the Ambassador January 29 
that, although the Lithuanian cabinet had not yet made a 
formal decision on accepting any Guantanamo detainees, he 
thought the GOL could be "very helpful" to the United States 
on the issue.  On January 30, Foreign Minister Usackas 
convoked the Charge to follow up and provide a readout of 
GAERC discussions about resettlement of GTMO detainees. 
Usackas said that EU foreign ministers had discussed the 
resettlement of GTMO detainees for about 20 minutes during 
the January 26 - 27 GAERC.  They decided the EU should send a 
positive signal, welcoming the president's decision to close 
the facility.  He said that following the discussion, five or 
six member states indicated they were positively inclined to 
accept detainees.  These included Italy, Portugal, Lithuania, 
Finland, and Ireland.  Usackas thought that the end result of 
the EU's discussion would be a chapeau statement of 
encouragement from the EU, with actual arrangements for 
resettlement being done on a bilateral basis. 
 
¶3. (S) The Foreign Minister reiterated Lithuania's positive 
inclination to accept two detainees who pose no threat to 
society.  (Note:  under Lithuanian law, the GOL can admit 
only those foreigners who do not pose a threat, "to public 
security, public policy, or public health.")  Usackas added 
that he would like to initiate the formal process "sooner 
rather than later" because, if the timeline stretches too 
long, this issue will become a part of Lithuania's 
presidential campaign (note:  officially beginning in March). 
 This would not be helpful at all, he added.  He said that 
officials were looking for a date before President Adamkus 
departs on vacation in mid-February to convene a meeting of 
the National Defense Council in order to make a final 
decision on whether to accept the detainees. 
 
¶4. (S) Usackas thought the National Defense Council meeting 
might be held as early as February 2 or 3.  Before the 
meeting, he would need an "official" request from the USG 
that Lithuania take in two detainees, including a statement 
that the detainees would not pose a threat to Lithuania. 
Although we understand the GOL is focusing on two specific 
Uzbek detainees (reftel), Usackas emphasized that the 
official request should not mention specific detainees or 
their nationalities.  He added that the GOL would want to get 
more detailed information about the detainees, if possible 
from a team from Washington, but first would need to consult 
with GOL lawyers.  His initial thought was that it would be 
best if the Washington team came after the Council meeting. 
 
¶5. (S) Usackas said he had already discussed this issue with 
MPs, including Seimas speaker Arunas Valinskas.  According to 
him, they were "relieved" when he told them that the number 
of detainees under discussion was "in the couples, not in the 
dozens." 
 
¶6. (S) Action request:  Post believes this is a serious 
opportunity for Lithuania to agree to accept two detainees in 
the near future, but the window could close quickly.  Given 
the timeline Usackas previewed, we request a letter from the 
Secretary to FM Usackas as soon as possible requesting that 
Lithuania resettle two detainees, and stating that the two 
detainees would pose no threat "to public security, public 
policy, or public health."  Such a letter would lead to a 
National Defense Council meeting in the coming days at which 
President Adamkus could give the final approval on resettling 
the two.  A State/DOD team should also be prepared to come to 
Vilnius as soon as the GOL is ready to receive them. 
 
 
LEADER