‘Royal visit to Oman is part of efforts to free Libyan hostages’

Queen Beatrix’s trip to Oman was not cancelled altogether because of efforts to free three Dutch military personnel being held in Libya, the Telegraaf reports on Wednesday.

The planned state visit to Oman was replaced by a private dinner on Tuesday night because of political unrest in the Gulf state.
Diplomatic sources told the paper they hope the royal visit will encourage Oman to pressure Libya to free the three-strong helicopter crew.
Oman is a member of the Arab League.
‘Cancelling the visit would have been the most stupid thing we could have done,’ one senior diplomat told the paper.


Meanwhile, defence minister Hans Hillen told MPs on Tuesday the crew is being well-treated and is in good health.
He based his claims on a report from the Dutch ambassador to Libya who had just visited the air crew in Tripoli.
Their good treatment is a positive and hopeful sign the Libyan authorities want to solve the situation in a civilised way, he said.

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