Hopes raised for Tehran embassy girls

17th March 2004, Comments 0 comments

17 March 2004, BRUSSELS - Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel seems cautiously confident that two Liege girls currently seeking refuge in the Belgian embassy in Tehran will soon be able to return home, the Belgian press reported on Wednesday.

17 March 2004

BRUSSELS - Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel seems cautiously confident that two Liege girls currently seeking refuge in the Belgian embassy in Tehran will soon be able to return home, the Belgian press reported on Wednesday.

Speaking to journalists at the end of a two-day visit to Iran, Michel said he had had "positive" talks about the girls' dilemma with his Iranian opposite number Kamal Kharazi.

Michel added that he had also met the girls' father, who had made it clear that his main concern was for his daughters to be happy.

The two girls, seven-year-old Sara Pourashemi and her sister Yasmine, 15, were kidnapped by their father and taken to Iran in August 2003 following a holiday in Greece.

In December they subsequently escaped to the Belgian embassy in Tehran, where they have been seeking refuge ever since.

In Belgium, the girls' mother has legal custody over her daughters but Iranian law gives that right to their father.

Michel said on Tuesday that any solution to the current problem would have to "respect Belgian and Iranian law and respects the rights of the father, the mother and the children".

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Belgian news

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