Dutch hostages-Joint declaration by the Yemen and Netherlands governments

English version of the annexe to the newsitem of Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans regarding the release of the Dutch hostages.

The Yemeni and Netherlands governments are extremely pleased to welcome the news of the release of Judith Spiegel and Boudewijn Berendsen. The Dutch couple has been abducted from Sana'a on 8 June 2013 and has been held hostage since then. After having spent 6 months in captivity, they were recently released in the vicinity of the Netherlands Embassy. The couple is in a good physical condition, extremely happy to have survived their ordeal unharmed and wishes nothing more than to be soonest reunited with their family.

The Netherlands Ambassador to Yemen has met with the President of the Republic of Yemen on this fortunate turn of events at both their earliest possibility. The President expressed his happiness on hearing about the release of the hostages. He welcomed this step as a step in the right direction. He however stressed that still a number of other people were being held hostage in Yemen and reiterated his determination to see them released as well. He invited groups that are still holding hostages to follow this excellent example and to release all those that are still being held hostage. He underlined that the new Yemen can only be founded free of violence and blackmail.

Both Governments reiterate their appreciation for all efforts that have led to the release of the Dutch couple. The Netherlands government supports President Hadi in his call to also release all other hostages as a sign of goodwill to choose the peaceful path for the sake of building a new Yemen free of violence and terrorism.

Judith and Boudewijn will return to the Netherlands on Wednesday 11 December.