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U.S. says it's moving ahead with Guantanamo closure

President Barack Obama speaks during a joint press

President Barack Obama speaks during a joint press conference with the British Prime Minister during the G7 Summit at the European Council in Brussels, on June 5, 2014. Credit: Getty / SAUL LOEB

MIAMI - A U.S. official says President Barack Obama is moving ahead with the effort to close the Guantanamo Bay prison despite the uproar over the exchange of five Taliban prisoners for a captured American soldier.

An administration official tells reporters "substantial progress" has been made on preparations to resume transfers of prisoners from the U.S. base in Cuba to their home countries or for repatriation elsewhere.

The official says more than half of the current 149 prisoners have been cleared for transfer after a security review.

The official spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity amid an increasingly intense criticism of the Obama administration's trade of the five Taliban prisoners for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Several Republicans in Congress are determined to keep Guantanamo open and want to bar further releases.

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