German diplomats in Washington are negotiating with the US for the release of a German-born man held for almost four years at the US detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, according to a government spokesman.
Negotiations between embassy representatives and the US authorities in Washington started when the Chancellor Angela Merkel visited President George W. Bush last month, the German government source said.
Bernhard Docke, lawyer for the prisoner, Murat Kurnaz, 23, said Saturday he expected a result from the negotiations in the "near future."
According to an article to be published Monday in the German weekly Focus, Bush told Merkel he would free Kurnaz on condition that Germany give "guarantees of security," the details of which are now being discussed by German diplomats and government security experts. One of the conditions could be that German law enforcement authorities observe Kurnaz at all times.
Kurnaz, a Turkish national born in the north German city of Bremen, was arrested in 2002 by American forces in Pakistan, where he had moved in 2001. The German press nicknamed him "The Taliban of Bremen."
Transferred to the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay under suspicion of terrorism, he complained to his lawyer a year ago of having undergone sexual humiliation by female soldiers at the detention center.
The German government hopes Kurnaz will be released by the summer, according to Focus.
Reconnaissance flights and more joint exercises in Central Europe serve to reassure NATO members in the region, but critics say the crisis in Ukraine shows the alliance's relations with Russia need a dramatic rethink.
The Group of Seven industrialized nations has told Russia to halt Sunday's referendum aimed at annexing Crimea from Ukraine. The G7 says if Russia proceeds it will take "further action."
German trade group BGA says sanctions against Moscow will hit businesses here but might be life-threatening to the Russian economy. 2014 growth in German trade will hinge on the outcome of the Ukraine crisis, it claims.