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Uruguay offers to fly in family of ex-Guantanamo detainee now on hunger strike

In this Friday, Sept. 9, 2016 photo, Syrian native Abu Wa'el Dhiab, a former Guantanamo detainee, rests in bed as he speaks to his family via a laptop, in his apartment in Montevideo, Uruguay. Activists and Uruguayan officials say the health of the former Guantanamo detainee resettled in the South American country is deteriorating as he continues a hunger strike at his home. Dhiab is demanding to leave Uruguay, which took him in with five other former Guantanamo prisoners in 2014. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)

In this Friday, Sept. 9, 2016 photo, Syrian native Abu Wa'el Dhiab, a former Guantanamo detainee, rests in bed as he speaks to his family via a laptop, in his apartment in Montevideo, Uruguay. Activists and Uruguayan officials say the health of the former Guantanamo detainee resettled in the South American country is deteriorating as he continues a hunger strike at his home. Dhiab is demanding to leave Uruguay, which took him in with five other former Guantanamo prisoners in 2014. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)

Uruguay's government on Tuesday offered to bring the family of a hunger striking former Guantanamo prisoner to the South American country.

Syrian native Abu Wa'el Dhiab has been on a hunger strike for more than two months to press his demands to leave Uruguay, which took him in along with five other former Guantanamo prisoners in 2014. He wants to join his wife and children in Turkey, where they are refugees, or in another nation.

The Uruguayan foreign ministry said in a letter Tuesday that the visas to bring Dhiab's family have been approved and that they will be offered a place to live. But Dhiab's friend, Andres Conteris, said the government proposal makes no sense because Dhiab and his family want to meet abroad after broken promises to reunite them by Uruguay.

Conteris also said Dhiab is getting rehydration solution after he lost consciousness Monday in the apartment where he's living in Montevideo.

"He has asked the government for letters that he can present to Venezuela, Turkey, Lebanon and Qatar stating that Uruguay has no inconvenient with these countries taking him in," Conteris said. "If he gets the letters, he'll lift the hunger strike."

Uruguay's liaison with the six resettled detainees has said that Lebanon, Qatar and Turkey have all rejected taking in Dhiab.

Dhiab grabbed international attention through hunger strikes during his 12 years of confinement. He was released from Guantanamo in December 2014, but he could not return to his war-torn homeland and was taken in as a refugee by Uruguay. In July, he set off alarms when he vanished for several weeks, before turning up in Venezuela, which sent him back to Uruguay.

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