By Houda Mzioudet.
Tunis, 18 December 2014:
The Tunisian government is looking to using influential Libyans to help free journalists Sofiane Chourabi and . . .[restrict]Nadhir Gtari, kidnapped near Ajdabiya at the beginning of September, and Walid Ksiksi, a Tunisians embassy employee abducted in Tripoli six weeks ago.
The Tunisians have said nothing about the latter’s kidnapping until now.
At a meeting on Tuesday of the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’s special crisis group headed by Achraf Gouiaa, the undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, participants said that the most effective way to obtain freedom for the three was by collaborating with a number of influential Libyans.
Speaking on Tunisian Watania 1 TV the same day about efforts to secure their release, Tunisian Foreign Minister Mongi Hamdi said that his ministry was working closely with those of the Interior and National Defence and would keep the public informed of developments but without divulging details of negotiations. Tunisia’s Interior Ministry spokesman Mohamed Ali Laroui also said that in view of the sensitivity of the subject, the government could not reveal everything that was being done to ensure the three men’s freedom.
The crisis group is also in charge of security and the political situation on the border with Libya. The recent fighting on the Libya side promoted the Tunisians last week to temporarily stop Tunisians traveling to Libya through the Ras Jedir border post.
At the meeting, the crisis group also renewed its call to members of the Tunisian community in Libya to exercise extreme caution and prudence in their movements. It also called for Tunisians planning to travel to Libya to defer any such plans, except in an emergency.
Attending the meeting were representatives of the Tunisian ministries of the Interior, the National Defence, Justice, Human Rights and Transitional Justice, Transportation and Tunis Air, the national airline company. [/restrict]