Kidnapped Saudi diplomat in Yemen asks for quick release
Sanaa: A Saudi Arabian diplomat appeared in a video on Saturday for the first time since he was kidnapped in March, asking the Saudi authorities to meet al Qaeda's demands in order to secure his release.
"I urge Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the Saudi authorities to save my life and secure my release from the al Qaeda's hands," he said in a short video posted online.
"You should accept the al Qaeda's demands of releasing its detainees in Saudi jails," he added.
Abdullah al-Khaledi, Saudi Arabia's deputy consul in Yemen's southern port city of Aden, was abducted by the Yemen-based al Qaeda in March outside his residential building in Aden.
In April, the terrorist group demanded the release of militants in Saudi prisons in exchange for releasing al-Khaledi.
The middle-aged diplomat, dressed in traditional Saudi clothes in the four-minute video, made an emotional appeal to the Saudi king, saying that "My life is in your hands. I appeal to you to respond to the demands of al Qaeda."
Local media reported that al-Khaledi had been moved to an al Qaeda hideout in the southern province of Abyan or Shabwa, where the militants seized several cities last year.
The Saudi government said earlier that the terrorist group demanded an immediate release of its detained militants from jails in the Saudi capital of Riyadh in exchange for the abducted diplomat. However, it announced that it "will not bow to the terrorists'' demands."
Beside the Saudi diplomat, the al Qaeda group also kidnapped a Swiss woman and a French aid worker during the past two months, attempting to force the Yemeni government to release its jailed members from the Yemeni and Saudi prisons.
Foreigners are frequently kidnapped in Yemen by powerful tribes and the al Qaeda group who seek ransoms or intend to force the Yemeni government to meet their political demands.