Australia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop has thanked His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said for Oman’s efforts in helping to secure the release of an Australian man who was kidnapped in Yemen last year.
“I confirm that an Australian kidnapped in Yemen in October last year has been released and is safe and well,” the minister said in an official statement. “The release follows months of patient work by the Australian government.
“I deeply appreciate the efforts of officials from across government – who continue to provide the family assistance – and of many other parties in Australia and overseas.
“I particularly thank His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, the Sultan of Oman, for Oman’s work to locate and receive the Australian national into Oman.”
In a statement carried on the Oman News Agency (ONA), Oman’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that it had helped free the man, who has not been identified, with the assistance of Yemeni tribal leaders.
“The Australian citizen was transported this morning to the Sultanate in preparation to return home,” the ONA statement said.
In January this year, a video appeared online that allegedly showed an Australian man who had been kidnapped in Yemen. In the footage, the man, who has a rifle pointed to his head, says his name is Craig McAllister and that he was working in Yemen as a football coach.
“The Government will not be making any further comment on this case in order to protect other Australians who remain captive overseas or face the risk of kidnapping. The family has asked for privacy, and I ask others to respect their wishes,” Bishop said.
It is not yet known where the man was located in Yemen or which group kidnapped him.