Georgia, Tbilisi, Jan.9 /Trend, N. Kirtskhalia /
Fifteen Georgian and three Turkish sailors held captive by Somali pirates were released. As Georgian television reported, the sailors are currently on the board of a ship controlled by the Georgian government, accompanied by armed guards.
The ship is bound for one of the safe ports of Kenya.
The sailors will be provided with medical care although their health state is satisfactory.
It should be recalled that the Georgian delegation was in Somalia to release the captivated sailors. Georgian President directly controlled the case over their release.
According to the Georgian Presidential Administration, the Marine Transport Agency's representatives Mamuka Akhaladze and Teimuraz Shervashidze are currently in Somali. Deputy Economy Minister Giorgi Karbelashvili coordinated the negotiation process.
The talks were under Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's control.
Soon the released sailors will return home.
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 13 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.