Declaration by the EU Presidency on the kidnapping of the Dutch humanitarian aid worker

The EU welcomes with great relief the recent release of Ms. Davidovich, after six months of captivity. It recalls its statement of 26 August 2002 and following appeals, condemning the abductions of humanitarian aid workers Ms Davidovich and Mr Erkel in the Northern Caucasus.
The EU again calls for the immediate and safe release of Arjan Erkel of Medecins Sans Frontieres, who remains in captivity after having been abducted on 12 August 2002, over five months ago.

Kidnapping of aid workers can only aggravate the situation in the Northern Caucasus and worsen the humanitarian conditions. Finally, the EU welcomes the continuing efforts of the Russian authorities to ensure Mr Erkel's release so that he be reunited with his family and friends unharmed.

The Acceding Countries Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, the Associated Countries Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey and the EFTA countries, members of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this declaration.