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EU Praises Obama Order to Suspend Guantanamo Trials

The European Union has welcomed U.S. President Barack Obama's move to suspend military trials for terror suspects at the U.S. naval facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

In a statement, the EU Justice Commission said it was "very pleased" that one of Mr. Obama's first actions as president was "to turn the page on this sad episode."

The statement said the fight against terrorism has to be a main objective for the United States and Europe, but with full respect for human rights.

Hours after his inauguration Tuesday, Mr. Obama directed prosecutors to ask for the Guantanamo trials to be suspended for 120 days. Military judges are expected to rule on the request Wednesday.

A halt in legal proceedings would give the Obama administration time to review individual cases, as well as the entire military tribunal system.

The order would affect 21 pending cases, including against five men accused of plotting the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Mr. Obama has pledged to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, which has been the subject of controversy.

Critics say detainees at the facility, most of whom have been held for years without charge, are denied basic rights.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.