- Title: IRAN: Belgian hostage freed from captors in southeast Iran
- Date: 16th September 2007
- Summary: (*** FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY ***) STEFAAN BOEVE'S MOTHER WITH BELGIUM OFFICIALS SEATED IN MEETING HALL WIDE OF HALL MOTTAKI AND DE GUCHT WITH STEFAAN BOEVE AT PHOTOCALL CAMERAS BOEVE WITH HIS MOTHER SEATED IN PRESS CONFERENCE HALL WIDE OF MOTTAKI AND DE GUCHT PHOTOGRAPHERS
- Embargoed: 1st October 2007 10:22
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement,International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA2G2SOVSKYNLQY0S209QKDWUQA
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: A Belgian man taken hostage by bandits in southeast Iran last month was reunited with his parents in Tehran on Saturday (September 15) after Iranian forces helped secure his release, Iran's foreign minister said.
Stefaan Boeve was kidnapped in August with a Belgian woman, who was freed after a few days. The two tourists had been travelling in an area near the border with Afghanistan and Pakistan where Iranian police often clash with drug smugglers.
Boeve was flanked by his mother and father at a joint news conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and his Belgian counterpart, Karel De Gucht, to mark the release.
"Our security forces were seriously following up the issue and, in the end, two days ago, our forces succeeded in releasing the second person after a series of operations," Mottaki said, without giving details of those operations.
He said Iranian security forces and officials had been in close contact throughout with their Belgian counterparts.
The official IRNA news agency had reported his release on Friday, saying Boeve had been "returned to Iran from Pakistan" and also cited efforts by the security forces.
Boeve and his companion were travelling between the historic city of Bam and the country's eastern border when they were seized, Iranian news reports said at the time.
De Gucht thanked Iran for its assistance and also praised its fight against drugs smuggling, saying the operation had increased understanding between the countries.
To show its gratitude, he said the Belgium government was donating 500,000 euros to help Iran's efforts to combat drug smuggling.
De Gucht said Boeve would leave Iran on Sunday morning.
European and other tourists have been abducted in the same region in the past and some have been held for weeks.
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