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Harmeet Sooden released

23 March 2006
Media Statement

Harmeet Sooden released

Prime Minister Helen Clark said tonight that she was pleased and grateful that the long ordeal of captivity is over for Harmeet Sooden and his family, including his family in New Zealand who have been anxiously waiting for word of his release.

The Prime Minister said that the government is also pleased and grateful that the waiting is over for James Loney and Norman Kember, and their families.

“It is wonderful news for those released and their families, but at this time, we offer the deepest condolences to the family of the slain hostage, Tom Fox. His death, almost two weeks ago, was a tragic end to the life of an innocent person who was providing humanitarian support to the Iraqi people.

“The New Zealand government commends the efforts of the Canadian and other governments who have worked so hard to secure the release of Harmeet Sooden and his colleagues.

“There has been excellent co-operation between all the governments involved throughout.

“Harmeet Sooden’s family in Auckland have been informed of his release. A number of agencies are in close contact with the family, and will continue to assist them in dealing with what has been a very difficult issue,” Helen Clark said.

ENDS

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