An international news agency reported on Wednesday that negotiations aiming to release the Saudi Deputy Counsel Abdullah al-Khaledi from al-Qaeda captivity are underway. The diplomat was abducted by al-Qaeda operatives on March 28 and several mediations to free him have failed so far.
A tribal chief told the he official Chinese news agency (Xinhua) that some tribal chiefs resumed their efforts aimed at mediating a safe release for al-Khaledi two days ago.
The unnamed tribal chief expected the meditations to bear fruit this time in the few coming days, arguing that the negotiations are led by high-ranking tribal chief and thus al-Qaeda might accept to release the diplomat.
He revealed that the tribal mediation committee offered to pay 150 million Saudi Riyals as a ransom for the militants in exchange for releasing the diplomat. He said the negotiations are still underway with the kidnappers.
The tribal chief emphasized that al-Kaledi is in good health and that he has not been subjected to any harm until this moment.
"The Saudi abducted diplomat is in some area in the southern province of Abyan, " he was quoted as saying.
Al-Qaeda-linked gunmen abducted al-Kaledi from an area nearby his residence in the southern port city of Aden on the last day of his five-year tenure.
Conditions made in April by al-Qaeda to release al-Kaledi included the release of all of the female prisoners as well as the terror network operatives imprisoned in the kingdom. It further asked for a ransom but did not pinpoint the sum of money, saying it would be specified later on.