Statement on Algeria

Press Statement
Jen Psaki
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 3, 2014

The United States welcomes the release of two Algerian diplomats, Mourad Ghessas and Kaddour Miloudi, who were kidnapped in April 2012 in Gao, Mali, by the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO). As we join the Algerian Government and people in celebrating the safe return of their countrymen, we also express our sincere condolences for the loss of two other Algerian diplomats, Tahar Touati, who was killed by his captors, and Boualem Saies, who died while in the captivity of this terrorist group.

The United States strongly condemns MUJAO’s kidnapping for ransom and calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all those whom it holds hostage. We reaffirm our steadfast partnership with Algeria and remain committed to continuing our strong counterterrorism cooperation and shared unequivocal opposition to paying ransom to terrorists.