Shoukry meets Croatian Deputy PM as hostage’s ultimatum approaches

Menna Zaki
2 Min Read
Sameh Shoukry (AFP Photo)

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry received Friday morning Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Vesna Pusić.

Pusić is in Egypt to follow-up on with Egyptian government on efforts to release the Croatian citizen who was taken hostage by “Islamic State” affiliates in North Sinai, known as “State of Sinai”.

The group released a video on Wednesday threatening to kill Croatian hostage Tomislav Salopek if Egypt doesn’t release “Muslim female captives”.

In a message addressed to the Egyptian government, the video featured Salopek saying that he works for Compagnie Générale de Géophysique (CGG), a French-based company that provides geophysical services to oil and gas companies in Cairo.

The Croatian foreign ministry said that he was abducted as he was driving a take-home vehicle to work.

Salopek further stated that “soldiers of the Islamic State” captured him on 22 July and that they wish “to substitute him with Muslim women arrested in Egyptian prisons”.

He said that the release of women should take place within a period of 48 hours from the day the video was released, or else “State of Sinai” will kill him.

The militant group has claimed responsibility for the majority of the attacks taking place in North Sinai. Members of the group have previously kidnapped and killed Egyptian security personnel and Egyptian citizens known to have helped the armed forces.

The armed forces are engaged in a “war against terrorism” across Egypt, especially in North Sinai, which is witnessing the highest levels of insurgency.

“State of Sinai” was formerly known as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, and changed its name after it pledged allegiance to “Islamic State” in November 2014.

Egypt’s foreign ministry stressed in its statement that “Egypt will spare no effort in order to protect the Croatian hostage”.

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