Georgia, Tbilisi, Jan.8 /Trend, N. Kirtskhalia /
Interdepartmental Commission of the Georgian government started negotiations for the release of 15 Georgian sailors held captive by Somali pirates. As Georgian television reported with reference to a reliable source, the Commission is negotiating under the control of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.
Family members of the captives do not know anything about the negotiations held by the Georgian government. They argue that Georgian President's involvement in the negotiations may be a guarantee of release of their loved ones, with whom they have not contacted for 9 months.
Hijacked vessel "Oilb G" is on the coast of Harardhere Port in Somalia.
It should be recalled that on Sept. 8, 2010, Somali pirates hijacked "Oilb G" tanker flying the flag of Malta in the Gulf of Aden. The vessel left Alexandria for India. There were 15 Georgian and 3 Turkish citizens on its board. Release of the captives was postponed several times.
Initially the pirates demanded $9 million from the Greek ship owner, but later lowered their demands to a million, but the bankrupt owner refused to negotiate, and the Interdepartmental Commission of the Georgian government then was involved in negotiations.