Brown holds talks with Iraqi premier on hostage video

February 28th, 2008 - 12:17 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Gordon Brown
London, Feb 27 (DPA) British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has discussed with his Iraqi counterpar, Nouri al-Maliki the airing of a video apparently showing a British hostage held in Iraq, a British government spokesman said here Wednesday. The spokesman said Brown spoke to al-Maliki over phone Wednesday and both “deplored the taking and public parading of hostages and agreed to continue their close cooperation to secure their early release”.

Confirmation of the contact between the two leaders came after Dubai’s Al-Arabiya satellite TV channel Tuesday broadcast a video appearing to show one of five British men kidnapped in Baghdad last May.

The bearded man, giving his name as Peter Moore, appealed to Brown to respond to the abductors’ demand to free nine Iraqis held by coalition forces in return for the five Britons.

Al Arabyia said it had received the video from a Shia group.

The men were seized during a seminar at the Finance Ministry in Baghdad May 29 last year in an audacious operation involving a large number of attackers wearing Iraqi police uniforms.

In London, the Foreign Office said Tuesday the film would be “greatly distressing” to the men’s families and called on the kidnappers to release them immediately.

In a previous video, broadcast by Al-Arabiya Dec 4, the kidnappers threatened to kill the men unless British troops were pulled out of Iraq within 10 days.

The clip showed one of the alleged hostages flanked by two masked gunmen pointing their weapons at him.

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