President Barack Obama vowed on Tuesday (April 30) to make a new push to close the Guantanamo detention centre, where about 100 inmates are on hunger strike, saying it was damaging to U.S. interests to keep holding prisoners there in legal limbo.

"It is not a surprise to me that we've got problems in Guantanamo, which is why when I was campaigning in 2007 and 2008 and when I was elected in 2008 I said we need to close Guantanamo. I continue to believe that we've got to close Guantanamo. I think it is critical for us to understand that Guantanamo is not necessary to keep America safe. It is expensive, it is inefficient, it hurts us in terms of our international standing, it lessens cooperation with our allies on counter terrorism efforts, it is a recruitment tool for extremists, it needs to be closed."