Thank you Sultan Qaboos, says Australian foreign minister on hostage release


‘Thank you Sultan Qaboos,’ was the message from Australia, after one of their own was rescued from Yemen.

Under orders from His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the country assisted in the safe passage home for an Australian citizen, who was reported missing in Yemen. The order came after a request from the Australian government.

According to the Oman News Agency, the Australian citizen was brought to the Sultanate from Yemen on Wednesday morning.

In a statement, Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop said: “I confirm that an Australian kidnapped in Yemen in October last year has been released and is safe and well. I particularly thank His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said for Oman’s work to locate and receive the Australian national

into Oman.”

Bishop said she would provide no further details on the case, in order to protect other Australians who remain captive overseas, or face the risk of kidnapping.

Dr. Ralph King, the Australian non-resident ambassador to Oman expressed, on behalf of the Australian government and the family of the freed citizen, their utmost thanks and gratitude for the noble endeavours of His Majesty the Sultan and the Omani authorities in finding the Australian citizen, who had been missing since October, 2016.

The Australian ambassador affirmed that these efforts reflect the noble humanitarian side and the role carried out by the Sultanate in the region under the wise leadership of His Majesty the Sultan. “These efforts also reflect the deep bilateral relations between the Sultanate and Australia,” he added.

The Australian man was held captive for seven months after he was captured by unnamed assailants last October. The Yemeni authorities found the citizen with the help of the local tribes in the country.

This is not the first time the Sultanate has stepped forward to help those stranded in its western neighbour. Since the conflict began in 2015, Oman has mediated the rescue of many foreign nationals who’ve been unable to leave Yemen.

In October 2016, the Sultanate oversaw the rescue of two American nationals, while in June 2015, the Omani government coordinated with their Yemeni counterparts to rescue more American and Singaporean nationals from the war-torn nation.

But the biggest rescue initiative involving Oman took place in August 2015, when the Indonesian embassy in Muscat confirmed the Sultanate’s hand in the rescue of 2,311 Indonesians from Yemen, 1,831 of whom were evacuated via Oman.

His Majesty’s government has received high praise for their humanitarian efforts to aid those affected by the conflict.

In April 2015, two Indian planes that had been dispatched to rescue Indians stranded in Yemen were given permission to land in Muscat, from where they travelled to Djibouti and then onward to Sana’a.

The nation’s hospitals have also treated many Yemenis, who’ve suffered grievous injuries due to the war that is ravaging their homeland.