Home>News Center>China

FM says released men to fly back soon
By Qin Jize (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-01-24 23:52

The eight Chinese hostages freed in Iraq will leave for China as soon as exact air ticketing arrangements have been made, an official with Chinese Foreign Ministry said yesterday.

A security guard leads a group of eight workers to a vehicle outside their embassy after they were set free, in Baghdad January 24, 2005. [Reuters]
Li Huaxin, deputy director of the ministry's department of west Asian and north African affairs, said the exact date is dependent upon the booking of air tickets and the choice of a route, which "is not yet decided."

"Anyway, we will send them home safely as soon as possible," he said.

According to the booking office of Air China in Beijing, the company does not have a direct flight from Beijing to Baghdad, the Iraqi capital. It only offers a flight from Beijing to Kuwait via Karachi in Pakistan, which departs each Thursday.

The release of the men, all migrant workers seized last Tuesday on their way from Iraq to Jordan, was announced Saturday but the Chinese Embassy in Iraq was not able to make contact with them until late Sunday.

They were handed over to an Embassy representative at a mosque in the western city of Ramadi, reported Xinhua, citing Iraqi sources.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said the men are safe and sound, and the embassy would send them home at an early date.

Seen from the picture taken by the Xinhua News Agency, they appeared in good health as they were escorted by Chinese embassy officials in Baghdad.

Kong expressed appreciation to all sides who made efforts in their release.

He said Chinese leaders showed grave concern about the safety of the hostages and the Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Chinese Embassy in Iraq and embassies in neighbouring countries took all necessary measures and efforts through various channels.

Kong said China supports the Iraq reconstruction process and is willing to join hands with the international community in an efforts to restore peace and stability there.

He again warned Chinese nationals against travelling to Iraq.

Deputy President of the Iraqi interim government Rowsch Nuri Shaways, who finished his six-day visit in China yesterday, said he was "very delighted" to hear the news of the release of the eight on Saturday, according to Xinhua.

He said Iraq and China have a splendid prospects in their relationship.

  Today's Top News     Top China News

China to remeasure world's tallest mountain



China's Harbin to bid for 2014 Winter Olympics



Games names adidas sportswear sponsor


  China's basic state research projects open to public bidding
  China seeks to curb corruption in big SOEs
  22 of 30 problem projects stop operating
  China to transport 1.97 b people in Spring Festival season
  Spring Festival not homecoming for all
  FM says released men to fly back soon
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  News Talk  
  It is time to prepare for Beijing - 2008