France in talks with Houthi to release citizen held in Yemen
الأربعاء 12/سبتمبر/2018 - 08:54 م
France is in talks with Houthi forces in Yemen to secure the release of one its citizens held since June after his boat ran into difficulty near the country’s main port of Hodeidah, a French diplomatic source said on Wednesday according to Reuters.
Alain Goma, 54, has been in prison in the capital Sanaa, which is under Houthi control, after being transferred from the Red Sea port.
His detention is complicated politically for Paris.
The agency said that France has been trying to play a role to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Yemen by engaging with the Iran-aligned Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition fighting against the group.
“Every effort is being made to get his release,” the source said. “France’s ambassador for Yemen Christian Testot is in contact with authorities responsible for his arrest so that he can be freed as quickly as possible.”
When asked whether Paris considered that he was being held hostage by the Houthis, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll avoided responding.
She said that the ministry was aware of Goma’s situation as well as two other compatriots held by the Houthis. Two Franco-Tunisian have been held by the Houthis since 2014.