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* Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry requests Saudi help for crew captured by Somali pirates
Fri, Mar 5, 2010, 12:50 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 04, Colombo: Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry has called on Saudi Arabia for its assistance to ensure the welfare of any Sri Lankan crew aboard the Saudi ship captured by Somali pirates.

The Ministry, responding to the media reports that there are Sri Lankan nationals among the crew of the hijacked ship, contacted the Saudi officials.

A Foreign Ministry statement said Minister Rohitha Bogollagama immediately called for a report from the Sri Lanka Embassy in Riyadh and the Consulate General in Jeddah on this incident and requested the missions to verify if there is indeed a Sri Lankan crew aboard the ship.

The Foreign Minister has requested the Saudi Arabian mission to extend all possible assistance to ensure the welfare of any Sri Lankan nationals on board and expedite their release.

The Sri Lanka Embassy in Riyadh has contacted the Saudi Navel authorities and other connected organizations in this connection.

The Consul General in Jeddah is also liaising with the company which owns this ship, to verify if there is indeed a Sri Lankan crew aboard the ship and if so, to ensure their safety and wellbeing, the Ministry said.

The Foreign Ministry said it will continue to monitor the situation and take all necessary steps on this matter through the Consular Affairs Division of the Ministry and the Sri Lanka Missions in Saudi Arabia.

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