On the Release of a U.S. Citizen

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
November 6, 2016

On behalf of everyone at the State Department, I welcome the reports of the release of Wallead Yusuf Pitts Luqman, a U.S. citizen, who had been detained in Yemen for more than a year and a half.‎

My team and I have been focused on Wallead's detention since the beginning, working closely with our partners in the region, and I have also been in direct contact with his family. I want to take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude and appreciation to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said and the Government of Oman for their leadership and assistance in securing Mr. Luqman's safe return. We also recognize this positive gesture by the Houthis.

The protection of U.S. citizens around the world is among the highest priorities of the Department of State, and today's release is testament to the diligence and seriousness with which we all pursue that goal. I'm proud of everyone on our team who worked so hard to achieve this outcome.

As President Obama has said, we will be relentless in our efforts to secure the release of Americans unjustly detained overseas, and we continue to call for the release of individuals unjustly held in Yemen.‎