‘Decision imminent’ on Tehran embassy sisters
4 May 2004
BRUSSELS – Two young Belgian sisters who have been holed up in the Belgian embassy in Tehran since December were set to learn on Tuesday if and when they would be able to return home to Liege, the Iranian Foreign Minister said.
Speaking during a visit to Brussels, which was essentially concerned with Iran’s nuclear programme, Foreign Minister Kanmal Kharazi said the sisters’ divorced parents would decide the girls’ fate when they met in Tehran on Tuesday afternoon.
Kharazi hinted that he believed the girls’ Iranian father would give his consent for them to return to Belgium.
“I don’t know when they will return but I don’t think there will be the slightest obstacle,” Kharazi said.
“Things are going in the right direction and we will have to wait for the result of this afternoon’s meeting,” he added.
On Monday the Belgian press, citing Iranian newspaper articles, reported that the sisters – Sara and Yasmine Pourashemi – would soon be coming home.
Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel also said on Monday that he was hopeful that the girls would soon be able to leave the embassy although he added that, “we are not out of the woods yet.”
The girls were kidnapped by their Iranian father during a holiday with him in Greece and were taken to Tehran.
In December they escaped from their father’s custody and sought refuge at the Belgian embassy, where they have been staying ever since.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news