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Lamani: Abducted UNDOF Observers Released, Ki-moon Welcomes.

Mar 10, 2013 DAMASCUS, (SANA)_ Head of the UN Envoy's Office in Syria Mokhtar Lamani said that the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) observers who were kidnapped days ago were released, indicating that they arrived ''safe and sound'' in Jordan after long and arduous negotiations.

In a statement to journalists in Sheraton Hotel in Damascus on Saturday, Lamani said "I'd like to thank the Syrian Arab army who was very cooperative," adding "the negotiations with the kidnappers were intended to secure the observers' release through a road 500 meters away north of al-Jamlah village so that they could use their cars driving back.

"We were surprised by a very urgent demand from the kidnappers that the team waiting for them should go for them, and there were long negotiations about this specific issue before they asked to wait for an hour while they negotiate amongst themselves, until we were surprised by their arrival in Jordan." He stressed that the kidnapping operation is unacceptable that the UN Security Council issued a strong-worded statement denouncing the detention.

''The UNDOF observers have been on a mission since 1974 and were doing their daily run before they were stopped and abducted, which is unacceptable,'' Lamani said.

In the same context, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday welcomed releasing the UNDOF observers who were detained by armed terrorist group on march 6th in Golan.

In a statement issued after transporting the 21 Filipino observers to Jordan, Ki-moon stressed the neutrality of the UNDOF observers, the AFP said.

He called upon respecting the freedom of the UNDOF observers' movement and the security of its teams.

He expressed gratitude for "whoever participated in releasing the observers in a peaceful way." English Bulletin

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Publication:Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA)
Geographic Code:7SYRI
Date:Mar 10, 2013
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