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Schröder statement on freeing of kidnapped tourist

Schröder statement on freeing of kidnapped tourists

"I was greatly relieved and satisfied to hear from President Touré of Mali that the hostages had been freed and were under the protection of the Mali government. I hope those who were kidnapped will now be able to return quickly to their countries of origin and, reunited with their families and friends, will be able to recover as soon as possible from the ordeal they were put through.

Our joy was dampened by news of the death of Michaela Spitzer. My sympathies go out to her family. In this hour of rejoicing let me remind, perhaps even warn our fellow citizens to plan the trips they take in such a way that their security will be guaranteed as much as possible.

I would like to express my special thanks to President Bouteflika and President Touré. Working under very difficult circumstances they both made significant contributions towards getting the hostages released.

I would also like to thank all the others who were involved and who invested an enormous effort in helping to achieve this outcome: They include the governments of the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, and Switzerland, who were also affected by the hostage-taking, State Secretary Jürgen Chrobog and his staff at the Foreign Office, as well as numerous offices in the German intelligence services and armed forces who provided unflagging and, in the end, successful support.

I agree with the Presidents of Algeria and Mali that the fight against international terrorism requires close and confidential cooperation between the government authorities involved. I am happy to say that cooperation was exemplary in this case.

Now that this matter has been resolved there is a need to think of the future. It seems important to me that the kidnappers should not get off scot-free. With this in mind, German security authorities will support their Algerian and Mali partners in any way that could contribute towards finding the hostage-takers and bringing them to justice."

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