Qatar and Iran have promised to help secure the release of 22 Thai hostages being held by Hamas, with the possibility that they will be the first foreign hostages to be released, according to a Facebook post by Thailand’s Foreign Ministry.
Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara separately met with Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdullahian in Doha on Tuesday.
Parnpree is visiting Qatar and Egypt to seek help from the two governments in negotiating the release of Thai nationals held by Hamas. He is scheduled to meet his Egyptian counterpart in Cairo today.
According to the Thai Foreign Ministry, the Qatari prime minister has promised full cooperation, noting that Thai people are not participants in the Israeli-Palestine conflict.
He did, however, admit that the ongoing fighting in Gaza remains an obstacle to the release of hostages.
Meanwhile, Thailand’s Shiite Muslim leader, Syedsulaiman Husaini, claimed that Hamas has agreed to release all the Thai hostages, but not now because they are held in Gaza and it is still unsafe due to Israeli bombing.
He claimed that the hostages will be set free once the bombardment stops.
Husaini also said that, according to Hamas, there are 19 Thai hostages, with no confirmation of an additional three, as claimed by the Thai Foreign Ministry, adding that the 19 hostages are safe and in good health.
Meanwhile, it is reported that the remains of 11 Thais killed in Israel are due to arrive in Bangkok this afternoon on an El Al flight from Tel Aviv.
A brief ceremony was held at the Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, attended by the Thai ambassador in Israel, his staff and Israeli officials.