Ban urges Karzai to personally engage in hostages release

Concerned by the abduction of German and South Korean hostages in Afghanistan, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Afghan President Hamid Karzai to be personally engaged in securing their release as soon as possible.

Ban urges Karzai to personally engage in hostages release
Concerned by the abduction of German and South Korean hostages in Afghanistan, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Afghan President Hamid Karzai to be personally engaged in securing their release as soon as possible, his press office said in a statement released on Sunday.

The statement said Ban, a South Korean, called Karzai on the phone on Saturday urging the Afghan government "to do its utmost to secure an early release of the abductees."

Karzai expressed "profound concern," adding he was "directly engaged" in attempts to resolve the plight of the hostages as soon as possible.

The Taliban executed -- reportedly -- one of two Germans in order to put pressure on Germany to pull its forces from Afghanistan, and extended till today Monday a deadline to execute 23 South Korean hostages, working in the humanitarian field in Afghanistan, if 23 Taliban prisoners are not released by the Afghan Government.

Karzai informed Ban that the Afghan Government had established a Task Force of intergovernmental experts to address the issue.

The president added that the Government had established contacts with the "parties involved," and was "keeping in close touch" with the authorities of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)."

He told Ban that he would keep him informed of all developments through the UN Special Representative in Afghanistan Tom Koenigs.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Temmuz 2007, 09:54
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