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Wikileaks: NZ asked to take US terror prisoners

NZ asked to take US terror prisoners

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The United States wanted to send a group of Guantanamo Bay inmates to New Zealand, according to a leaked 2005 cable from the US Embassy in Wellington.

The classified cable, which is part of the vast collection of secret WikiLeaks cables, sent on August 31 2005, reveals the US wanted to transfer Uighur refugees, from Central Asia and the Xinjiang province in western China, to New Zealand.

The US has had a detention centre for terror suspects at its Guantanamo Bay base in Cuba since 2002.

The Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, for the United States Embassy, Katherine Hadda, met the then Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade chief executive Simon Murdoch to ask New Zealand to consider taking in the refugees.

Ms Hadda said New Zealand would be the perfect place for the refugees, as it was "an open society with a long history of taking in refugees and other immigrants, as well as tolerance towards these groups".

According to the cable, Mr Murdoch said he would ask officials to consider the request.

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