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Baghdad: Efforts to Solve the Kidnapped Qataris Crisis Have Reached Advanced Stages | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The General Secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council condemned the kidnapping of Qatari citizens in southern Iraq last week in a statement yesterday, and demanded that the “Iraqi government shoulder its international legal responsibilities and take adequate measures to guarantee the safety of those kidnapped and their release at the earliest possible opportunity”.

This GCC position coincided with an announcement made by a spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Interior Brigadier General Saad Maan who said that “the ministry has reached advanced stages” in the Qatari kidnapping case and that it will “announce the results of the investigation soon”.

In the meantime, the Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs Ibrahim Al-Jaafari yesterday refuted that his government had anything to do with the kidnappers during a visit to Kuwait. However, he acknowledged the existence of “security lapses that we must admit may have led to the kidnapping operation”.

As the kidnapping of the Qataris enters its second week without a glimmer of hope on the horizon, the fact that the GCC holds the Iraqi government responsible for the kidnapping increases the criticalness of the Iraqi position considering that the Qataris who were kidnapped had entered Iraqi territory with proper approval. In addition to this, an informed source who asked not to be named told Asharq Al-Awsat that “many parties have entered into negotiations with the intermediaries and not with the kidnappers directly, and amongst these parties are tribes in the Al-Furat Al-Awsat region”.