German foreign ministry thanks PHL govt for release of hostages

Aquino in Germany (MNS photo)

Aquino in Germany (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Germany on Saturday thanked the Philippine government for Friday night’s release of two Germans abducted and held by the Abu Sayyaf since April.

In posts on its Twitter account, the German foreign ministry said it was “relieved” to confirm the release of the two Germans.

“We are grateful to the Government of the Philippines for close and trustful cooperation,” it said.

The foreign ministry also mentioned the Twitter handles of President Benigno Aquino III (@noynoyaquino) and the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (@dfaspokesperson).

On Friday night, the Abu Sayyaf released German nationals Stefan Victor Okonek and Henrike Diesen.

The two were abducted last April while on a yacht in the waters between Palawan and Malaysia.

While the Abu Sayyaf initially gave a 3 p.m. deadline for a P250-million ransom to be paid, it extended it to 5 p.m.

Also, the Abu Sayyaf demanded the military withdraw from Sulu and that the German government withdraw its support for a US-led campaign against the militant Islamic State.

“We are relieved to confirm that the two Germans are no longer in their kidnapper’s hands. Both now in care of our Manila Embassy,” the German foreign ministry said. (MNS)

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