Baghdad 'doing all' to find French reporter

13th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 13 (AFP) - Visiting Iraqi interim President Ghazi al-Yawar on Thursday expressed sadness over the "kidnapping" of a French reporter in Baghdad and said the Iraqi government was doing everything possible to secure her release.

PARIS, Jan 13 (AFP) - Visiting Iraqi interim President Ghazi al-Yawar on Thursday expressed sadness over the "kidnapping" of a French reporter in Baghdad and said the Iraqi government was doing everything possible to secure her release.

"I expressed our sadness, in the name of the government and the Iraqi people, over the kidnapping of this innocent journalist," Yawar said after talks here with French President Jacques Chirac.

"The Iraqi government is in the process of doing everything in its power to obtain the release of this French journalist and her guide," he added.

"This is another example of blind terrorism that makes no distinction between human beings, religions, gender or nationality," Yawar said.

Florence Aubenas, a senior correspondent for the French daily Liberation, disappeared eight days ago after leaving her Baghdad hotel with her Iraqi interpreter, Hussein Hanun al-Saadi.

French officials say they are making all necessary contacts to locate the 43-year-old Aubenas, but have refused to use the word "kidnapping" when describing her disappearance.

Chirac expressed to Yawar his "concern" over the fate of Aubenas and "thanked the Iraqi president for the help of the Iraqi authorities in these painful circumstances", Elysee spokesman Jerome Bonnafont told reporters.

A group of masked gunmen in Iraq claimed last week to a group of reporters that a "female journalist and the person with her" were in good health, but did not specifically identify the journalist as Aubenas.

Chirac has warned French journalists to stay out of Iraq, saying their safety could not be ensured.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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