Foreign Ministry Spokesman Kong Quan told the reporters that at 22:25, January 23 (Beijing time), the 8 kidnapped Chinese citizen, upon being released, have been taken safely to the Chinese embassy in Iraq by the special work group headed by Director General Qu Juan of the Department of Asian and African Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Chinese Ambassador to Iraq Yang Honglin and the embassy staffs. Their physical conditions remain well. The embassy will make arrangement to send them back to China soon.
Kong said that China is delighted to see that the 8 Chinese citizens have been released and appreciates all the friends for providing help in the rescue efforts.
He stressed that having known that 8 Chinese citizens were taken hostages in Iraq, President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and other Chinese leaders were deeply concerned and instructed the related ministries to take immediate measures to rescue the them. Related ministries including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Chinese embassies and consulates in Iraq and neighboring countries are making every effort to carry out the rescue work through various means.
He also noted that China hopes the Iraqi situation could stabilize as soon as possible. China will support the reconstruction efforts of Iraq and is willing to work with the international community to make efforts to resolve the Iraqi issue.
Given the security situation in Iraq, Kong warned once more that Chinese enterprises and citizens should not go to Iraq for the time being so as to ensure safety.