After roughly three weeks in captivity, Jordan’s ambassador to Libya has been freed. The Libyan government secured his release by agreeing to extradite a jailed Libyan jihadist, the key demand of his kidnappers.
Libya's foreign ministry confirmed early Tuesday that Fawaz al-Itan, the Jordanian ambassador to the North African country, had been released by his captors, according to Libyan state television. The diplomat was reportedly already en route to Jordan, al Arabiya television said.
"The ambassador is doing well and he is now making his way back to his country," Jordan's foreign minister, Nasser Judeh, was quoted as saying.
The kidnappers reportedly left a message on the ambassador's cell phone, which was left behind in his car, in which they demanded the release of Mohamed Saeed al-Darsi. The Libyan Islamist militant had been sentenced to life in prison for a 2007 plot to blow up Jordan's main airport.
link:17612904:The Libyan government reportedly ratified the extradition agreement with Jordan on Thursday night.
Violence and lawlessness have gripped Libya since the overthrow of the Gadhafi regime in 2011 by NATO-backed rebels. Foreign diplomats have become targets in Libya, too. Since January, five Egyptian diplomats, a Tunisian diplomat and a south Korean trade official have been kidnapped.
kms/crh (AFP, Reuters)