Government determined to free other 37 Indian sailors: Khurshid

Last Updated: Sat, Dec 29, 2012 16:30 hrs

New Delhi, Dec 29 (IANS) External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, welcoming the five Indian sailors who arrived in India Saturday after spending more than two and a half years in captivity, said the government would pursue the release of 37 other captive Indian seafarers with determination.

Receiving the five Indian seafarers at the airport, Khurshid also said the Indian officials accompanying the five had also taken along with them two Pakistani seafarers who had been freed.

The two Pakistani sailors were taken to Oman and handed over to the Pakistani authorities to be taken home.

"I think this is for us a matter of some satisfaction that not only have we been able to successfully get the release of our own citizens but we have also been able to help in the release of citizens of our neighbouring country Pakistan," he said.

Khurshid said: "We want to indicate through this our resolve and commitment to get the release of the other 37 hostages who are still held in various incidents, and we hope that all of them can be released also in the near future."

The sailors who were on board MV Iceberg 1 had been rescued from captivity in Puntland before Christmas.

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