Friday, March 11, 2011

Dutch marines arrive in Athens after release by Libyan regime

Athens (ANA-MPA) -- A Greek Air Force C-130 aircraft carrying three Dutch marines who were released by the Libyan regime after nearly two weeks of captivity landed at Athens International Airport at dawn on Friday.

The C-130, with Greek deputy foreign minister Dimitris Dollis on board, also brought another 12 Greeks evacuated from violence-torn Libya.(ANA-MPA)

The three Dutch marines -- two men and a woman -- were arrested by the Libyan regime after landing a helicopter, without permission, near the port of Sirte to evacuate two Dutch citizens from Libya.(ANA-MPA)

The woman marine was identified as Yvonne Niermans, while the names of the other two marines have not been released as yet.

The Greek government said Thursday night that it had dispatched the C-130 to Libya to pick up the freed marines after agreement achieved during a meeting earlier in the day between Dollis and Muammar Gaddafi's emissary Mohamed Tahir Siala.(ANA-MPA)

Shortly after the marines' arrival in Athens, Dutch foreign minister Uri Rosenthal telephoned his Greek counterpart Dimitris Droutsas to thank him for Greece's intercession in the case of the three Dutch marines and their safe evacuation to Athens with a Greek Airforce plane.

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