Author Topic: Yasser Arafat has promised to help British hostage Ken Bigley  (Read 67 times)

Don Rizzle

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Yasser Arafat has promised to help British hostage Ken Bigley
« on: September 28, 2004, 02:45:25 AM »
Arafat 'offers support' to Bigley
Yasser Arafat has promised to intercede on behalf of British hostage Ken Bigley, a senior Irish politician says.
Michael Higgins, foreign affairs spokesman for the Labour Party in Dublin, said the Palestinian leader made his pledge in a letter to him.

Meanwhile the Foreign Office doubts the credibility of an Islamist website claiming Mr Bigley's captors in Iraq have issued new release demands.

It said the group would exchange him for terrorism suspects held in the UK.

Minister allocated

Mr Arafat has vowed that he will help in "every way possible" to secure Mr Bigley's release.

Mr Higgins told BBC Radio 4 Today programme he had written a letter to Mr Arafat seeking his "intercession and influence".


 I think that what is important is that, in the past, President Arafat has influenced the network of communication about other hostages
Michael Higgins 

Representatives of Mr Arafat had contacted Mr Higgins saying the Palestinian leader had allocated one of his senior ministers "who had spent many years on the ground in Iraq" to try and make contact with Mr Bigley's captors.
"I think that what is important is that, in the past, President Arafat has influenced the network of communication about other hostages so it was in that context that I decided this would be something very positive to do."

It would be valuable to stress Mr Bigley's Irish connections because of Ireland's neutrality in the war in Iraq, he added.

Mr Bigley's mother is an Irish citizen.

The Foreign Office, meanwhile, has called into question claims made on Islamist website that the captors of Mr Bigley, 62, were willing to exchange him for a number of terrorism suspects being held at Belmarsh Prison in south London.

'Gut feeling'

A delegation of British Muslims is due back home on Tuesday after pressing for the engineer's release in Baghdad.

News of Mr Arafat's support comes after Mr Bigley's brother Paul told the BBC he was convinced his brother was still alive.


 Ken's had enough, we've had enough - just let the man come home to his mum, please
Paul Bigley 

He said he thought the family's pleas were getting through and his "gut feeling" was his brother would come home.
"Ken's had enough, we've had enough. Just let the man come home to his mum, please," he said.

On Monday he criticised Mr Blair for "only going through the diplomatic instruction book" in his efforts to free his brother.

He told the Today programme he believed there was work being done behind the scenes but British officials did not understand how to work in the Middle East.


Attacking what he branded an "immoral war", he urged Mr Blair to withdraw British troops.

Brown's sympathies

In Brighton on Monday, Chancellor Gordon Brown said the "the thoughts of everyone" at the Labour Party conference were with Mr Bigley and his "brave family."

Mr Bigley, a civil engineer from Liverpool, was captured at gunpoint in Baghdad on 16 September with two American colleagues, who have both since been murdered.

He is being held by the hardline Tawhid and Jihad group, led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, one of the world's most wanted men.

They have demanded the release of women prisoners.


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/uk_politics/3695888.stm

iraq would just get annexed by iran


That would be a great solution.  If Iran and the majority of Iraqi's are pleased with it, then why shouldn't they do it?
 

Don Seer

Re: Yasser Arafat has promised to help British hostage Ken Bigley
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2004, 02:52:24 AM »
depends.. they might kill him for the shock value when they feel they cant milk the publicity this is getting anymore.. who knows..

BUT it'd be a coup for palestinian PR