Krishna discusses Indian hostage crisis with Egyptian Ambassador

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna has met Egyptian Ambassador Khaled el Bakly and discussed the recent incident of Somali pirates hijacking a ship which had among others six Indian sailors on board.

Updated: Mar 07, 2011, 13:43 PM IST

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S M
Krishna has met Egyptian Ambassador Khaled el Bakly and discussed the recent incident of Somali pirates hijacking a ship which had among others six Indian sailors on board.

Government is continuing with its efforts to ensure
all possible help in seeking safe release of the sailors, held
captive by Somali pirates for more than seven months now,
official sources said here today.

They said the minister met the Ambassador, who has
agreed to coordinate with the ship owner who is an Egyptian.
The Panama-flagged vessel, MV Suez, was captured by
the pirates on August 2 last year.

The ship`s crew includes four Pakistanis, six Indians,
four Sri Lankans and 11 Egyptians.

The Somali pirates have reportedly demanded USD 4
million for release of the six Indians and given a week-long
deadline for meeting their demand, which is to expire shortly.

Meanwhile, the families of captives have been
demanding immediate and resolute action by the Centre in the
matter.

However, maintaining that "publicity is just what the
pirates want so that they can hike up their ransom demands
further", Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has said, "Let`s not
help them this way.

"In the past, without publicity, shipowners have
negotiated release of hostages and brought down ransom demands
too," she had tweeted yesterday.

PTI