King Salman congratulates former Saudi hostage on safe return
The Saudi king decorated al-Khalidi with King Abdulaziz Medal of the third class
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud met with the Saudi Deputy Consul to Aden Abdullah bin Mohammad al-Khalidi, a day after Al-Khalidi returned to Riyadh after being held hostage in Yemen for three years.
Al-Khalidi, who worked in the southern port city of Aden, was kidnapped on March 28, 2012.
Last September, he appeared in a nearly two-minute video with his head covered and sporting a long beard as he appealed for Riyadh to negotiate his release. Militants from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said they seized Khalidi in a bid to secure the release of female prisoners in Saudi Arabia and to raise a ransom.
The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) cited an Interior Ministry source as saying that Khalidi’s release was the result of “intensive efforts made by the presidency of the General Intelligence.”
On Tuesday, the Saudi king decorated al-Khalidi with King Abdulaziz Medal of the third class and congratulated him on his safe return to his family.