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Home > News > The Gulf War II > Report

Hostage crisis serious, says Natwar

July 23, 2004 17:47 IST

Describing the hostage crisis in Iraq as a "serious situation", External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh today appealed for release of the three Indians who have been abducted by an Iraqi group.

"I don't want to give any false hopes. It is a serious situation and has to be dealt with in a sensitive manner," he said on his arrival in New Delhi from Islamabad,where he had gone to attend SAARC Foreign Ministers' meeting.

Singh said India was seriously pursuing the matter and had spoken to senior Iraqi leaders. Pleading for the early release of the hostages, he said the three Indians had gone to Iraq to earn their livelihood. He hoped Iraq would "make best efforts" to get them freed.

'Only diplomacy will work'

Singh said talks were also held with the company which had employed the three Indians and asserted that "whatever can be done is being done." He, however, declined to reveal what transpired during the discussions with the company.

The External Affairs Minister said he had apprised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue, and the Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahmed was to make a statement on the issue in Parliament today but could not do so as both the Houses were adjourned.

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