Qatar made intensive efforts to broker the release of the Djiboutian prisoners of war (PoWs) in Eritrea, HE the Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani has said.

“HH the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani was personally overseeing the process,” HE the Foreign Minister said at a press conference on Friday night, in the presence of the Foreign Minister of Djibouti Mahamoud Ali Youssouf.

The Foreign Minister added that intensive meetings were held in Doha with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, who directed the authorities in his country to hand over the four prisoners of war who were in a group of seven. One of them died and two others fled. The Djiboutian authorities confirmed the reports.

For his part, the Foreign Minister of Djibouti expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the State of Qatar, noting that Djibouti had asked for the Qatari mediation.

The minister praised Eritrea’s release of the prisoners of war, saying it was a positive step forward, and that his country wants good relations with its neighbour Eritrea.

Meanwhile, President of Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh held a meeting on Friday with HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani.

The president conveyed his greetings to HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, and wished the Qatari people further progress in the future.

The president expressed gratitude to the Emir, government and the people of Qatar for the efforts and the mediation which resulted in the release of the Djiboutian prisoners of war.

HE the Foreign Minister conveyed the greetings of HH the Emir to the President and people of Djibouti.

The meeting dealt with bilateral relations and the means to enhance them. They also discussed a number of issues of joint interest.

The group of released Djiboutian prisoners of war have expressed their deep gratitude to HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani for Qatar’s efforts to secure their release following eight years in captivity.

Speaking during a press conference at Hamad International Airport before leaving for their country, the prisoners of war said Qatar, under the leadership of HH the Emir, has always been a supporter of humanitarian issues and has worked wholeheartedly in mediation efforts, which finally resulted in their release and their return to their country and families.

The prisoners of war likened the moment of their release to coming back to life, noting that this happened thanks to the Qatari mediation and Qatar’s efforts to give them their freedom back and help them return safely to their families and country.

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