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Lanka hold talks with Saudi Arabia on hijacked Lankan seamen

(March 04, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that it is holding discussions with diplomatic quarters in Saudi Arabia on securing the release of the Sri Lankan crew members on board a Saudi ship which has been hijacked by Somali pirates.

A ministry spokesman said the Sri Lankan Consular General's office in Jeddah has been instructed to hold discussions with the relevant shipping company and furnish the ministry with a report in that regard.

The 'Al Nisa Al Saudi' was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden on Monday. The 14-member crew includes 13 Sri Lankans and one Greek.

The tanker was on its way from Japan to Jeddah when it was hijacked.

Jayantha Dissanayake, Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Kenya, speaking to Newsfirst said the vessel was now in the region of Gurey off the coast of Somalia.

Under the circumstances, the high commissioner has urged Sri Lankan nationals to refrain from seeking employment on ships that sail across Somali waters.

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