British Foreign Secretary Confirms Release of Hostage in Iraqs
Mar 10, 2010
|"British Foreign Secretary David Miliband on Wednesday welcomed news of the release of Peter Moore, one of the five British men taken hostage in Baghdad in May 2007.
Moore was released this morning and delivered to Iraqi authorities. He is now in the care of the British Embassy in Baghdad.
Miliband said: ""I am pleased to confirm that Peter Moore, one of the five men taken hostage in Baghdad in May 2007, has been released today ... I have spoken to our acting Ambassador in Baghdad this morning and also just had a very moving conversation with Peter himself.""
He said Moore is in good health, despite his many months of captivity. He is undergoing medical checks and will be reunited with his family as soon as possible back in Britain.
Miliband said he is in close touch with Moore's family. Moore's family and friends are deeply relieved that he has been released. They have been through an unspeakable two and a half years of misery, fear and uncertainty.
Despite this good news, Miliband said his thoughts were with the families of the four other men who were also taken hostage in May 2007.
They were Jason Swindlehurst, Jason Cresswell and Alec MacLachlan who did not survive the hostage taking and Alan McMenemy, who is believed to have been killed. Miliband called on the hostage-takers to return Alan's body as soon as possible.
He said: ""I am very conscious that the joy and relief felt by Moore's family today will be mirrored by the continuing anguish of the family of Alan McMenemy, the last of the five men taken hostage. We have believed for some time that he has been killed and his immediate family have been told our view of his likely fate. I call again today on the hostage-takers to return Alan's body as soon as possible.""
Miliband said hostage taking is never justified in. It is a heinous crime. Iraqis are steadily building a political consensus about their future and abandoning the violence that has so blighted their recent past.
The foreign secretary said that for many months, the Iraqi government has been taking forward a process of reconciliation with armed groups prepared to renounce violence, adding that ""that process of reconciliation has made possible Moore's release today. "" ""I hope it will help lead to an end to the scourge of hostage taking and violence in that country,"" he added.
He said: ""I thank all those working for peace and progress in Iraq for all they have done to secure Peter Moore's release. And I ask them to redouble their efforts to secure clarity on Alan McMenemy.""