Relief at release of Dutch hostages in Yemen

Foreign minister Frans Timmermans has expressed his pleasure and relief at the release last weekend of Judith Spiegel and Boudewijn Berendsen, who had been held hostage in Yemen for six months.

Considering the circumstances, both former captives are in good health and are currently staying at the Dutch embassy in Sana’a. Mr Timmermans expects them to be reunited with their families very soon. He said ‘This is great news, most of all for Judith and Boudewijn, of course, but also for their loved ones.’ The minister spoke to them both by telephone and also talked to their families about the good news.

In its diplomatic efforts, the Netherlands frequently reminded Yemen of its responsibility to help ensure the couple’s return unharmed. The ambassador in Sana’a has expressed the Dutch government’s appreciation to the Yemeni authorities for their role in securing the hostages’ release.