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Dutch soldiers liberated? (Shift) It's confirmed!

(BRUSSELS2 / 17 p.m.) Reasoned optimism could be justified (1). And the three Dutch soldiers arrested by Colonel Gaddafi's forces and held prisoner as hostages could be released very quickly. A private plane – with medical equipment – ​​headed to Libya from Malta this morning. On board, a Dutch pilot. According to our information, the discussions were particularly intense yesterday. And a Dutch delegation was in Tripoli to achieve this result and settle the final details. The news of the release has not yet been confirmed on either the Dutch or Libyan sides.

(24h update) The information that Brussels2 broadcast in the afternoon is now confirmed both by Libyan state television and by the Greek Ministry of Defense. A C-130 plane (n°743) from the Greek Defense left in the evening from Eleusis airport towards Tripoli in order to bring back the three soldiers from the Dutch navy helicopter, apprehended by the Libyan security forces. They should be on European soil around 2 a.m. Greek Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Dimitri Dollis led the latest discussions with the Libyan side, represented by Mohamed Tahir Siala. According to our information, several countries lent their support to this liberation, the Greeks in particular but also the Maltese and the Italians. This subject (we can confirm it now) was also raised during the European “technical” mission sent to Tripoli by Catherine Ashton last weekend in Tripoli.

(1) Read also: Reasonable optimism about the fate of Dutch military hostages in Libya

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).