WASHINGTON (AP) — Yemen is welcoming President Barack Obama's decision to lift his ban on the transfer of Yemeni prisoners from the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

In a statement released Thursday shortly after Obama announced the step, the Yemeni Embassy said it appreciated the switch. It said Yemen would work with the U.S. to ensure the safe return of Yemeni detainees to Yemen and continue efforts to rehabilitate and reintegrate them into society.

In a speech, Obama said prisoner transfers to Yemen would now be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The president halted transfers to Yemen after the failed Christmas Day 2009 bombing of an airliner bound for Detroit carried out by a man who trained in Yemen. About 90 of the 166 detainees currently at Guantanamo are Yemeni.