Inside Saudi Arabia’s function releasing American POWs from Putin’s jail

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Two Individuals and eight different former prisoners of warfare from the Ukraine war have been freed by Russia, because of the intervention of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“It is a incredible end result and reveals the significance of continuous to work in direction of attaining outcomes by engagement and dialogue,” stated Saudi Overseas Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan.

In an unique interview with Fox Information, the international minister detailed the months of negotiations that went into the prisoner launch by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The 2 Individuals, 40-year-old Military veteran Alexander John-Robert Drueke and 27-year-old Marine Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, each from Alabama, went to Ukraine to assist defend it towards the Russian invasion.

They have been captured by Russian proxies in June throughout a firefight within the Donbas area of Ukraine and held in Russia as POWs. They, together with 5 British residents, one Moroccan, a Swede and a Croatian have been launched Wednesday as a part of a deal that additionally returned Russian POWs captured by Ukraine.

Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, left, and Alexander John-Robert Drueke, two U.S. navy veterans who disappeared in June whereas combating with Ukrainian forces towards the Russian invasion, have been launched after three months in captivity, family stated Wednesday.
(Jeronimo Nisa/The Decatur Every day, left; and Lois “Bunny” Drueke/Dianna Shaw by way of AP, File)


“His Royal Highness was in a position to persuade President Putin that this can be a humanitarian gesture that’s worthwhile, and that is how we achieved this end result,” bin Farhan stated.

The international minister additionally stated that Crown Prince bin Salman spent months on the problem to free the lads and arrange a reputable communication channel between each side.

“His Royal Highness has at all times been satisfied that dialogue is the first avenue to resolve variations, and he made fairly clear by the start of this battle when he reached out to each President Putin and President [Volodymyr] Zelenskyy that we imagine that there ought to be a negotiated settlement, and we proceed to work in direction of that. And I believe th at perspective allowed for a very clear dialogue and was in a position to facilitate this end result,” stated bin Farhan.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman smiles as he meets with President Biden at the Al Salman Royal Palace in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on July 15, 2022.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman smiles as he meets with President Biden on the Al Salman Royal Palace in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on July 15, 2022.
(AP Picture/Evan Vucci)

He described an extended, detailed negotiation that resulted in a prisoner swap, with Ukraine additionally releasing 55 Russian POWs and a pro-Putin Ukrainian member of parliament who was being held on prices of treason.

“Points like this are at all times tremendously complicated as a result of there are a variety of shifting elements,” bin Farhan stated. “There have been many points that needed to be addressed. There have been different prisoners, Ukrainian and Russian captives, that wanted to be exchanged. So, there was a whole lot of element that needed to be ironed out and labored on.


“You might want to give it time. You might want to give it persistence. And that is, I believe, what the crown prince actually put into it.”

The Individuals’ households issued a joint assertion, saying, “We’re thrilled to announce that Alex and Andy are free. They’re safely within the custody of the U.S. embassy in Saudi Arabia and after medical checks and debriefing they are going to return to the States.”

“I really feel nice,” the international minister stated. “I simply look ahead to seeing the photographs of them reunited with their family members once they return again to america and Alabama.”

A Ukrainian tank drives over an infantryman during a training exercise near Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine, on May 9, 2022.

A Ukrainian tank drives over an infantryman throughout a coaching train close to Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine, on Could 9, 2022.
(John Moore/Getty Photos)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued an announcement that stated partly, “I look ahead to these U.S. residents being reunited with their households. We additionally thank our Saudi companions for serving to to spearhead this humanitarian initiative.”

U.Okay. Prime Minister Liz Truss tweeted that the discharge was “massively welcome information” that ends “months of uncertainty and struggling for them and their households.”

“Prime Minister Truss is somebody I respect an excellent deal,” stated bin Farhan. “We’re assured that by her prime-ministership we are going to strengthen additional the bonds between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UK.”


He additionally stated that bin Salman’s function as a mediator between Putin and Zelenskyy might set the stage for expanded talks that he hopes will lastly result in an finish to the warfare.

“We imagine that engagement is essential, that working in direction of a negotiated settlement is crucial, a settlement that respects additionally, after all, Ukraine and Ukraine’s sovereignty and addresses the issues of all events in a approach that forestalls additional bloodshed. I believe, in the long run, what’s most essential is that we cease the bloodshed, and we cease the struggling of the civilians which can be inevitably affected by any battle,” he stated.

Fox Producer Laura Prabucki contributed to this report.

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