Written By: Mohammed al-Kibsi
Article Date: Aug 12, 2012 - 8:57:42 AM
Saudi diplomat, kidnapped in last March by al-Qaeda, appears in a video footage recently appealing to Saudi king to respond to his kidnappers’ conditions
Saudi new condition fails diplomat release, tribal mediator
Correction:Ransom is Saudi Ryial 200,000000 instead of USD 200,000,000 (see paragraph 8)
The release of the Saudi consul, backed recently by a presidential effort, failed again after the Saudi mediators bargained for a lower ransom, said a tribal mediator.
Abdullah al-Khalidi, the Saudi deputy consul, was kidnapped in south Yemen by al-Qaeda militants who asked for millions in ransom and the release of al-Qaeda linked women jailed in Saudi Arabia.
The tribal mediator, who talked on anonymity conditions as required by the kidnappers, said they were about to reach an agreement on August 12 but the Saudi brokers asked for a lower amount of the ransom.
“The Saudi brokers backed out of their commitment at the last minute, bargaining for a lower amount. We have the way out for the release [of al-Khalidi] provided the money is ready,” said the tribal mediator, who was reached via a telephone conversation from Abyan province.
Gulf media, including al-Jazeera news website, reported on August 11 that President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi's son joined the mediation effort recently.
Jalal Hadi, who comes from Abyan- the stronghold of al-Qaeda, was said to have been supervising the mediation effort with some local tribesmen.
Yemeni news site reported that al-Khalidi, upon this release, was to accompany President Hadi in his trip to KSA scheduled for today. Hadi’s presidential office denied Jalal was involved in the mediation.
The tribal mediator said the ransom al-Qaeda kidnappers asked was Saudi Ryial 200,000000 (equal to USD 53, 200,00.00) in ransom. The issue of the release of al-Qaeda linked women jailed in Saudi Arabia is over now as the Saudi government released five al-Qaeda linked women in late July.
Reuters quoted on August 12 a tribal source as saying the release of al-Khaidi failed as al-Qaeda kidnappers “needed to hold more talks among themselves”.
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