ABU DHABI: Four detainees - three Filipinos and a South Korean - who were held captive by armed groups in Libya, have been released thanks to "intensive efforts" made by the UAE "in coordination and cooperation" with the Libyan National Army, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said.
The civilians, who were held captive last year by some Libyan armed groups in west Libya, were airlifted to Abu Dhabi prior to be taken to their home countries.
The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in a statement that the detainees, who work as civil engineers, were held captive while working at a desalination plant in west Libya.
"Upon receiving requests from the Philippines and South Korea, the UAE communicated with the Libyan National Army to work on releasing them and to ensure their safety," the statement said.
"As a result of a solid cooperation and coordination between the UAE and the Libyan National Army, led by Field Marshal Khalifa Hafter, search efforts had continued and resulted in finding them safely.
"The UAE is working on sending them to their home countries.
"The release of these innocent civilians has been made after intensive efforts to convey a message about the significance and importance of strengthening security and peace in Libya, and to contain criminal practices by armed groups who hold civilians captive without any consideration to international charters and norms.
"In this case, they did not consider that these civilians work for companies that are serving national interests of Libya and its people," the statement said.
"The release of these innocents means reuniting them with their families, and getting them back home after a long period of suffering," the statement said.