Saudi Arabia agrees to help free Thais hostaged by Hamas 

Saudi Arabia agrees to help free Thais hostaged by Hamas 

THAI Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin assured that negotiations are underway to secure the release of Thai nationals taken captive in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war.

The prime minister previously said that he would ask help from Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to help facilitate the return of the abducted Thais during a meeting between leaders of ASEAN and the Gulf Cooperation Council held last week.

Over the weekend, Srettha announced that the oil-rich kingdom pledged to help secure the release of the Thai nationals stranded in Israel by allowing the Royal Thai Air Force aircraft to fly across Saudi airspace.

The prime minister made the statement hours before leaving for China to attend the 3rd Belt and Road Forum in Beijing last week.

After his trip to China, the Thai leader traveled to the Saudi capital of Riyadh to attend the first ASEAN-GCC Summit.

Asian and Gulf leaders discussed the Israel-Hamas war, called for violence to end, the opening of humanitarian corridors, and the release of hostages.

Besides Saudi Arabia, the Royal Thai Air Force also obtained permission from Myanmar, India, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Israel to fly across their air spaces to evacuate the stranded Thais.

More than 8,000 Thais have registered for voluntary repatriation. Of this number, more than 2,800 have already returned from Israel.

PM vows to secure freedom of Thais hostaged by Hamas

Meanwhile, the number of Thais who died from the ongoing war rose to 30 while the number of abducted Thais increased to 19.

Srettha chaired a meeting attended by different government agencies on Monday to prepare for the evacuation of Thai nationals from Israel. The prime minister coordinated with the military, security, and foreign countries as well as concerned agencies to ensure their safety and find suitable jobs for them once they returned to the country.

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