Abu Dhabi: UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud led mediation efforts that secured the release of US basketball star Brittney Griner in a prisoner swap with Russia, a joint statement released by WAM said on Thursday.
The statement confirmed that Abu Dhabi received, on December 8, American citizen Brittney Griner by a private plane from Moscow, after the Russian authorities released her, in conjunction with the reception of Russian citizen Victor Bout on a private plane from Washington, after the US authorities released him, in the presence of specialists from the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
"The successful mediation efforts reflect the strong ties of friendship that the two countries share with the United States and Russia, and the important role played by the leadership of the two brotherly countries in strengthening dialogue between all sides," the statement added.
The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia said the success of the mediation efforts was a reflection of the mutual and solid friendship between their two countries and the United States of America and the Russian Federation.
The UAE and Saudi Arabian foreign ministries expressed the thanks of their respective governments to the governments of the US and Russia for their cooperation and response, and for the joint mediation efforts made by the leaderships of the two countries.