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Ministry of Defense Statement on Release of Hostages

(June 18, 1992)

Two German hostages were released in Lebanon in mid June. Israel greeted this development and expressed the hope that international efforts for the release of Israeli MlAs and prisoner of war Ron Arad would continue. Israel expected the United States and the United Nations to continue their efforts in Damascus and Teheran. Text:

A. Israel greets the release of the two innocent German hostages as she had in the past for any other Western hostage.

B. It should be remembered that Israel has in the past assisted the efforts of the U.N. Secretary-General and his envoy Giandomenico Picco in bringing about the release of the Western hostages and of Israeli POWs and MlAs, and Israel believes she has contributed her part in this connection. Now, after the release of the German hostages, the U.S. and the Western countries should bear in mind that there are still six Israeli POWs and MlAs held by Iran, the Hezbollah and Syria as well as SLA POWs.

C. We wish to emphasize that Iran which holds the Israel Air Force navigator Ron Arad goes on refusing to report about his fate and condition and to enable access of the Red Cross to him. Requests of the U.N. Secretary-General's envoy and of additional international factors to bring about a change in this inhuman position utterly failed until now, but we are pleased to hear from Picco that he intends to pursue his efforts.

D. Israel will not rest until this affair of her POWs and MlAs will end and she expects from the U.S. and all the West to give their full assistance and support vis-a-vis Iran and Syria in this matter.

Source: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs