Two Syrians previously held at Guantanamo Bay have arrived in Portugal as free men, the government said Saturday.
The Internal Administration Ministry said there are no charges against the unidentified former detainees and that they traveled to Portugal of their own free will.
"They expressed an interest in being given shelter by Portugal, are not subject to any charges, are free men and will live in residences granted by the state," the ministry said in a statement.
The Syrians can move freely around the country and can leave it once they have obtained the pertinent visas, or can stay in Portugal if they so wish, the ministry said.
"The steps necessary for them to integrate into Portuguese society still have to set in motion," it added.
The decision to offer the men sanctuary had been based on information handed over by U.S. authorities and the legal representatives of the two men, focusing on their capacity to integrate into Portuguese society, the ministry said.
The detention center at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was created in January 2002 to house "enemy combatants" of the war on terror following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington D.C.
President Barack Obama has ordered it closed by January 2010.
The Obama administration recently notified Congress that it planned six initial detainee transfers: the two to Portugal, one to Afghanistan, and three others to undisclosed destinations.
The latest transfers leave some 226 inmates at Guantanamo.