Saudi Arabia helps to mediate Alex Drueke, Andy Huynh release

Prisoner release mediated by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince
Published: Sep. 24, 2022 at 10:56 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 24, 2022 at 11:11 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Two Alabama men released from Russian captivity were included in a prisoner of war exchange mediated by Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia told Alex Drueke and Andy Huynh’s loved ones about their release on August 21, 2022. The embassy says they were just two of ten prisoners released from five different countries this week.

Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia Spokesperson Fahad Nazer told WBRC they are hoping this is just one step closer to ending the war.

“Saudi Arabia has good relations with both Ukraine and Russia,” said Nazer. “We have spoken to their leadership there on multiple occasions. We’ve offered to mediate the conflict and so we’re hoping that the release of these POWs is seen as a good willed gesture that leads to constructive dialogue that hopefully brings this conflict to an end.”

In a press release, the Embassy said:

Based on the priority given by HRH Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister, and in continuation of HRH’s commitment to the humanitarian initiatives towards the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, and resulting from HRH’s continued engagement with the relevant countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announces the success of HRH’s mediation efforts that led to the release of ten prisoners of war (POWs) – who are Moroccan, US, UK, Swedish and Croatian nationals, who are being released as part of an exchange of POWs between Russia and Ukraine.

The relevant Saudi authorities received and transferred them from Russia to the Kingdom and are facilitating procedures for their safe return to their respective countries.

In this regard, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses the gratitude and appreciation of the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Russian Federation and to Ukraine for their response to the efforts made by the Crown Prince for the release of the POWs.

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