Serbia demands release of citizens held hostage in Libya

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic says government negotiating for release of two Serbian Embassy staff members abducted in Libya

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Serbia’s Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic

Serbia has started negotiations for the release of two Serbian Embassy workers taken hostage in Libya

Sladjana Stankovic from the Serbian Embassy’s communications office and Jovica Stepic, a driver at the Embassy, are reported to be alive one week after their abduction in Libya.

The two hostages were kidnapped when their convoy came under fire on Sunday.

Serbian Ambassador Oliver Potezica was unharmed while a Libyan driver was injured In the incident near the coastal Libyan city of Sabratha, where several armed groups operate, .

Serbian Prime Minister Alexandar Vucic told a news conference in Belgrade, "With a great degree of certainty I can say that these people are alive and talks with various players are ongoing," adding that the Serbian government sent a security team, intelligence experts and diplomats to Libya secure the release of the two hostages.

Since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi four years ago, Libya has been in the grip of civil war and armed factions that sometimes target diplomats and foreign missionaries for kidnapping, mostly for ransom or to demand the release of Libyan fighters being held by overseas governments.

Despite the poor security situation in Libya, Serbia maintains relations with the two competing governments in the country based in Tobruk and Tripoli.

TRTWorld and agencies