10 POWs from US and other countries transferred from Russia to Saudi Arabia: statement

10 POWs from US and other countries transferred from Russia to Saudi Arabia: statement

This publicity image released by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) shows prisoners of war arriving from Russia at the airport in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh on September 21, 2022. transferred to Saudi Arabia as part of an exchange between Russia and Ukraine, the Gulf state said today. The group includes five British citizens, two Americans and one each from Morocco, Sweden and Croatia, a Saudi official briefed on the operation said. (Photo by SPA/AFP)

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) — Ten prisoners of war from countries including the US and the UK have been transferred to Saudi Arabia as part of an exchange between Russia and Ukraine, the Saudi Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

The statement said the prisoners, who also hail from Sweden, Morocco and Croatia, arrived in Saudi Arabia from Russia and the Saudi authorities are “facilitating procedures for their safe return to their countries.”

This image taken from the Saudi Arabian state television on September 21, 2022 shows the released British POW Aidan Asalon (2nd from right) arriving in the capital Riyadh after ten POWs from countries including the US and UK were transferred to Saudi Arabia as part of an exchange between Moscow and Kyiv. – Ukraine announced the exchange with Russia of a record number of prisoners of war in the amount of 215 people, including fighters who led the defense of the Mariupol metallurgical plant Azovstal, which has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance. (Photo by SAUDI TV/AFP)
Released Moroccan prisoner Brahim Saadum is seen gesturing in this image taken from Saudi Arabian state television on September 21, 2022 upon arrival in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh after ten prisoners of war from countries including the United States and Britain were transferred to Saudi Arabia. exchange between Moscow and Kyiv. – Ukraine announced the exchange with Russia of a record number of prisoners of war in the amount of 215 people, including fighters who led the defense of the Mariupol metallurgical plant Azovstal, which has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance. (Photo by SAUDI TV/AFP)
Released Swedish prisoner Mathias Gustafsson is shown in this image taken from Saudi Arabian state television on September 21, 2022, sitting in a wheelchair as he arrives in the capital Riyadh after ten POWs from countries including the US and UK have been transferred to Saudi Arabia as part of an exchange between Moscow and Kyiv. – Ukraine announced the exchange with Russia of a record number of prisoners of war in the amount of 215 people, including fighters who led the defense of the Mariupol metallurgical plant Azovstal, which has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance. (Photo by SAUDI TV/AFP)/

The move comes after the efforts of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, “in continuation of (his) commitment to humanitarian initiatives regarding the Russian-Ukrainian crisis,” the report said.

The war in Ukraine has heightened tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United States, an important ally for decades.

Saudi Arabia voted in favor of an early UN resolution condemning the Russian invasion and demanding that Moscow withdraw its troops.

However, the kingdom has largely resisted pressure from the US to ramp up oil production to ease the energy crisis stemming from the war — a campaign that included a visit by US President Joe Biden in July.

Instead, Riyadh coordinated with the OPEC+ oil cartel, which it co-leads with Russia.

Released British prisoner Sean Pinner is seen smiling in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, in this image taken from Saudi Arabian state television on September 21, 2022, after ten prisoners of war from countries including the US and UK were transferred to Saudi Arabia within the exchange. between Moscow and Kyiv. – Ukraine announced the exchange with Russia of a record high number of prisoners of war in the amount of 215 people, including fighters who led the defense of the Mariupol metallurgical plant Azovstal, which has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance. (Photos from various sources/AFP)

Earlier this month, the bloc agreed to cut crude oil production for the first time in more than a year, seeking to raise prices that had fallen on recession fears.

Wednesday’s statement did not specify when the POWs would be transferred to their countries.

© Agence France-Presse

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