Iran diplomat kidnapped in Yemen safe: Deputy FM

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says the Iranian diplomat abducted in Yemen earlier this year is in good health.

Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks on Monday, adding that a diplomatic delegation has been dispatched to Yemen to investigate the fate of Nour Ahmad Nikbakht — the kidnapped administrative staff member at the Iranian Embassy in the Yemeni capital Sana’a.

The high-ranking Iranian official stated that negotiations with Yemeni security and political officials are underway over the case, and the abducted Iranian diplomat would be hopefully reunited with his family in the near future.

During a telephone conversation between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif and his Yemeni counterpart Abu Bakr Abdullah al-Qirbi on December 16, Zarif expressed Tehran’s deep concern over the fate of Nikbakht, and stressed the Yemeni government’s responsibility to guarantee the safe return of the abducted Iranian diplomat.

Yemen’s Foreign Ministry announced on August 14 that it had no clues as to Nikbakht’s whereabouts.

Nikbakht was on his way to work from his home in the diplomatic quarter of Sana’a on July 21, when unidentified gunmen blocked the road, forced him out of his vehicle and abducted him.

Meanwhile, Amir-Abdollahian noted that Iran supports any initiative aimed at political solution to the ongoing Syrian crisis even if the Islamic Republic would not be attending the internationally brokered peace talks between Syria’s warring sides next month.

“The Syrian people must have the opportunity to restore stability and security in their country,” he pointed out.

On Sunday, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said Damascus is committed to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s participation in the long-awaited international conference aimed at achieving a political solution to the crisis in Syria.

“Syria is committed to Iran joining the peace conference. It is illogical that the United States or the so-called opposition exclude this country from the conference for political reasons,” Muallem said.

On November 25, the UN set January 22, 2014, as the date for the Geneva II conference.

The conference is scheduled to be held in Switzerland in two parts. On January 22, the opening session of the event will be in the Swiss city of Montreux and then it will be moved to the UN office in Geneva on January 24.

Syria has been gripped by a deadly crisis since 2011. Reports indicate that the Western powers and their regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey – are supporting the militants operating inside the country.

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in the violence.

By Press TV

 

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