Source Pravda.Ru

Freed German woman thanks her government for release

A German woman freed after three weeks of captivity in Iraq has thanked her government for its efforts to secure her release, but she has not yet left the country, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. German authorities so far have refused to answer questions about how Sunday's release of Susanne Osthoff, a 43-year-old aid worker and archaeologist, came about.

Osthoff spoke Monday with Deputy Foreign Minister Klaus Scharioth and thanked him for the government's efforts, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on customary condition of anonymity. The former captive stressed that she did not plan to return to Germany for now, but wanted to spend a few days shielded from publicity with her 12-year-old daughter.

German authorities have said they expect Osthoff to leave Iraq soon, but now she is "still in Baghdad in safe care," the spokeswoman said. Relatives in Germany have said Osthoff, a fluent Arabic speaker, has been out of touch with them for years.

Osthoff disappeared with her Iraqi driver Nov. 25, and German officials have not identified her kidnappers. The driver is also believed to have been released, reports the AP. I.L.

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