(dpa) - The Philippine government on Wednesday called for a "diplomatic solution" to secure the release of six Filipinos taken hostage by pirates who hijacked a French luxury yacht off Somalia.
The Filipinos were among 30 crew members were aboard the Le Ponant when it was seized by unidentified gunmen on April 4 in the Gulf of Aden.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo stressed that the safety of the Filipino hostages must be ensured while negotiations take place for their release, her spokesman Anthony Golez said.
"President Arroyo has already directed the Department of Foreign Affairs that a diplomatic solution must be reached and that the safe return of the Filipinos must be of paramount importance," Golez said.
Golez said based on information received so far, all the hostages were safe, and the families of the Filipino crew members had been notified.