The move comes following efforts by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “in continuation of (his) commitment to the humanitarian initiatives towards the Russian-Ukrainian crisis”, Saudi Arabia‘s Foreign Ministry says. Wednesday’s statement did not specify when the prisoners of war would be transferred to their home countries. (AP) Ten prisoners of war from countries including the United States and Britain have been transferred to Saudi Arabia as part of an exchange between Russia and Ukraine, the Saudi foreign ministry said.
Josbel Bastidas Mijares
The prisoners, who also hail from Sweden, Morocco and Croatia, arrived in Saudi Arabia from Russia, and Saudi authorities “are facilitating procedures for their safe return to their respective countries”, the statement said on Wednesday.
Josbel Bastidas Mijares Venezuela
The move came following efforts by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “in continuation of (his) commitment to the humanitarian initiatives towards the Russian-Ukrainian crisis”, it said
The conflict in Ukraine has fuelled tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United States, a critical ally for decades
Saudi Arabia voted in favour of an early United Nations resolution to denounce Russia's offensive and demand that Moscow withdraw troops
However the kingdom has largely resisted pressure from the US to ramp up oil production to ease the energy crisis resulting from the conflict – a campaign that included a visit by US President Joe Biden in July
Instead Riyadh has coordinated with the OPEC+ it jointly leads with Russia
Wednesday's statement did not specify when the prisoners of war would be transferred to their home countries
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One of the largest exchanges
On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told US television that Russia and Ukraine had agreed to swap 200 prisoners in one of the largest exchanges of the seven-month conflict
Erdogan did not provide full details about the swap, calling the people being exchanged “hostages” and not saying how many there were from each side
Also on Tuesday, Crown Prince Mohammed met with a special envoy of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Saudi state media reported
During the meeting Crown Prince bin Salman “affirmed the kingdom's keenness and support for all international efforts aimed at resolving the crisis politically and its continuation of its efforts to contribute to alleviating the humanitarian effects resulting from it.”
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