Chirac calls for extreme caution over hostages

11th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 10 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac on Sunday urged caution in making public comments about the two French journalists held hostage in Iraq, saying their safety and eventual release depended on it.

PARIS, Oct 10 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac on Sunday urged caution in making public comments about the two French journalists held hostage in Iraq, saying their safety and eventual release depended on it.  

Chirac, in China on a state visit, told France 2 television that he was kept constantly informed of efforts to secure the release of Radio France correspondent Christian Chesnot and Le Figaro reporter Georges Malbrunot.  

"I don't want to say anything as I think this situation has been discussed far too much, and, in the vital interest of the safety and release of our hostages, we must remain as reserved as possible in our statements," he said.  

"Please allow me not to say anything more. It's not to hide any truth, but because experience has taught me that in these areas, one must be extremely cautious," the French leader said in the interview from Beijing.  

Chesnot, Malbrunot and their Syrian driver Mohammed al-Jundi were kidnapped on August 20 south of Baghdad by an insurgent group calling itself the Islamic Army in Iraq.  

A private attempt by Didier Julia, a 70-year-old lawmaker in Chirac's ruling party, to win the release the two French hostages came up empty-handed. French officials have sharply criticised Julia's mission as interference.  

Chirac reiterated his condemnation of the murder of British hostage Ken Bigley, offering his condolences to Bigley's family and France's solidarity with the British people "in the face of this barbarity".

© AFP

 

Subject: French News

 

 

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