M A I N   N E W S

Talks yet to resume on hostage crisis
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 11
There was no sign of any resolution of the Iraq hostage crisis which entered the 23rd day today even as the Crisis Management Group continued to have meetings throughout the day.

The CMG meeting was still in progress at the time of writing this news.

The Kuwaiti company, Kuwait and Gulf Link (KGL) transport company, the employers of the seven hostages three of whom are Indians, was in touch with the MEA but it had no good tidings.

Sources said KGL confirmed it had roped in some Iraqis in the indirect negotiations but the disheartening news was that there was no resumption of formal negotiations yet which broke down last weekend. KGL has kept the identity of its “old Iraqi friends” who have been involved in indirect negotiations with the captors secret for security reasons. Nor has the company said how many new mediators had been roped in.

A senior MEA official said the government will never compromise with terorrists or terrorism, but having said that, it did not mean that the government could ignore the humanitarian dimension of the sufferings and pains of the victims of terrorism.

“Displaying sensitivity to this aspect is not a manifestation of weakness. The government is responsive to public opinion and the media which reflects such opinion,” the MEA official said.

Official sources said that the measures the government had taken in the current Iraq hostage crisis were not only for the three Indian hostages but for more than 5,000 Indians in Iraq and 3.5 million Indians who live and work throughout the Gulf.

“A hostage situation involving our citizens abroad has sensitive external dimensions, affecting our relations with foreign countries,” they said.

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