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Afghanistan frees Austrian activist held in May

Afghanistan frees Austrian activist held in May

author avatar
26 Feb 2024 - 12:51
Afghanistan frees Austrian activist held in May
author avatar
26 Feb 2024 - 12:51

KABUL (Pajhwok): An elderly Austrian far-right nationalist, who was arrested in Afghanistan in May, has been freed as a result of mediation by Qatar.

Herbert Fritz, 84, landed in Doha after his release on Sunday, the Austrian government confirmed in a statement.

On arrival in Doha, the Austrian nationalist told reporters: “I think it was bad luck but I want to visit again … There were some nice people (among his captors).”

In defiance of the Austrian government warnings against travel to Afghanistan, the octogenarian arrived in the country last year when he was detained on suspicion of spying.

In Vienna, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanked Qatar and the European Union representation in Kabul for supporting its efforts to get the elderly man freed.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer commended Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and his team for their support in releasing Fritz.

“It is only due to our trusted collaboration that this Austrian citizen will be able to return home to his daughter and grandchildren,” he wrote on X.

He was a founding member of the National Democratic Party (NDP), which was outlawed in 1988, according to Der Standard.

Also on Sunday, Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its gratitude to the caretaker government in Afghanistan for freeing the man.

“The State of Qatar has proven, regionally and globally, that it is a trusted international partner on various important issues,” the ministry said.

Qatar’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulaziz bin Saleh Al Khulaifi thanked the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) for cooperation in the release of the Austrian national.

The officials of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan are yet comment on this report.

PAN Monitor/mud

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