Sanaa Reassures Berlin on Efforts to Free German Hostage
Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Al Kurbi told a German official Saturday his government was doing all it could to free a German diplomat kidnapped two weeks ago in Sanaa, the official SABA agency said.
He told the head of the German Foreign Ministry's Africa department, Helga Von Strachwitz, that the "Yemeni government had taken all the necessary measures to obtain the release of the German diplomat and ensure his safety."
Von Strachwitz, a former ambassador to Yemen, arrived Thursday in Sanaa at the head of a security team in a bid to obtain the release of 55-year-old Rainer Berns, who was snatched from his car in the diplomatic quarter of Sanaa on July 27 as he was returning from the airport with his wife.
On Saturday, Yemeni Interior Minister Rashid Al Alimi also discussed the latest developments of the affair with Germany's ambassador to Sanaa, Werner Zimprich.
On Wednesday, a police source said Alimi had received a handwritten letter from the German diplomat early Tuesday, assuring him he was in "good health."
Kidnappings are common in Yemen by tribesmen seeking concessions from the government or from foreign oil companies. More than 200 foreigners, mostly Western nationals, including around 20 Germans, have been seized since 1991 -- SANAA (AFP)
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