Missing French journalists 'in good health'

2nd November 2004, Comments 0 comments

BAGHDAD, Oct 31 (AFP) - Two kidnapped French journalists are in good health and France is working hard to help secure their release, the French ambassador to Iraq said on Sunday after meeting the head of a Sunni religious committee.

BAGHDAD, Oct 31 (AFP) - Two kidnapped French journalists are in good health and France is working hard to help secure their release, the French ambassador to Iraq said on Sunday after meeting the head of a Sunni religious committee.

"We know that the hostages are in good health," Bernard Bajolet told reporters after a nearly hour-long audience with the president of the influential Committee of Muslim Scholars, Hareth al-Dari.

The ambassador did not give any details as to how he knew about Christian Chesnot of Radio France International and Georges Malbrunot of Le Figaro newspaper.

The pair were abducted south of Baghdad on August 20 with their Syrian driver, Mohammed al-Jundi.

Bajolet said French authorities were following the situation and "were in permanent contact" to find a positive solution, without identifying the parties concerned.

Speaking in Arabic, the diplomat said that he spoke to Sheikh Dari about "the situation in Fallujah, the upcoming conference (on Iraq) in Egypt, the issue of the French hostages and other matters".

Bajolet expressed his desire that a military standoff between fighters in the rebel-held city of Fallujah and US-Iraqi troops "will be resolved peacefully because all offensives would have negative consequences on the political situation and the elections".

© AFP

Subject: French News

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