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Germany working on second prisoner swap

Published on 30/01/2004

30 January 2004

BERLIN – The German government is working on a second prisoner swap apparently again between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah organisation, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s chief spokesman indicated Friday.

“I have made clear that with the first measures the action is not over,” was Bela Anda’s cryptic remark when asked about a new prisoner deal at a government news briefing in Berlin.

He added: “This is why I cannot say anything more.”

Under the terms of a German-brokered swap, Israel on Thursday freed 430 Palestinian and Arab prisoners plus a German national as Hezbollah returned an Israeli businessman kidnapped in October 2000 and the bodies of three Israeli soldiers.

The exchange was organised by Germany which flew the prisoners from Beirut and Tel Aviv to a German airbase near Cologne for the swap.

German intelligence officials say they want to resolve the fate of Ron Arad, an Israeli aviator who has been missing since being shot down over Lebanon in 1986.

Subject: German news