01/29/2015, 00.00
Send to a friend

Anxious hours in Tokyo, as Islamic State ultimatum expires

Terrorists still hold a Japanese hostage, Kenji Goto Jogo, and a Jordanian pilot, Lt Muath al-Kaseasbeh. Negotiations are set to expire at sunset (Syrian time). Terrorists want the release of failed suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi. Helpless, Tokyo leaves negotiations in Jordanian hands.

Tokyo (AsiaNews) - The Japanese government announced that it would consult with Jordan over the hostages held by the Islamic State (IS). The terrorist group holds Japanese reporter Kenji Goto Jogo and Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh. This comes as IS's third ultimatum expired.

In Amman, Jordanian authorities are still vetting what to do and how to meet IS's demands.

The fundamentalist group has threatened to kill the hostages if Sajida al-Rishawi is not released.

The latter is an Iraqi woman who failed to blow herself up as part of the 9 November 2005 Amman bombings in Jordan, which killed 60 people, dubbed the country's own '9/11'.

Currently, she is in a Jordanian prison, but sources close to the Jordanian government indicate that the authorities are "willing" to release her.

"The king told me that Muath [Moaz] is like my son and God willing everything will be fine," the pilot's father is quoted as saying.

In Japan, public opinion is less equanimous. Many on social media and among civil society groups have attacked the government led by Shinzo Abe for letting Jordan carry out the negotiations.

After saying that they would not deal with terrorists but fight them, Japanese authorities seem to realise that they have to find a way to negotiate.

However, sources close to the prime minister's office said that Tokyo would prefer Jordan pursue the negotiations because it knows better the situation.

IS's third ultimatum offered to free Goto (but not al-Kaseasbeh) in exchange for the release of Iraqi terrorist.

Amman has instead proposed a prisoner swaps (the two hostages for Sajida al-Rishawi) but first wants proof that the former are still alive.

In a recorded message, Goto purportedly says that negotiations would end at sunset today (Syrian time).

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Jordanians applaud Syrian President Bashar Assad (Video)
26/11/2018 09:01
Jordan to quench thirst with Red Sea-Dead Sea pipeline
Tokyo, leaders of all religions pray for hostages held by Islamic State
Tokyo confirms death of hostage and takes time on the exchange of prisoners
As the deadline for Japanese hostages expires, the Islamic State begins countdown


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”