All 23 Thai hostages ‘safe and will be released soon’
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin affirmed on Monday that 23 Thais captured by Hamas militants are safe after Thai negotiators said the hostages would be freed soon.
Srettha said he talked to Gen Songwit Noonpakdee, chief of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, on Sunday night and was informed that all 23 Thai hostages were still safe.
Srettha said Songwit had seen photos of the hostages. The defence forces chief was still negotiating with Hamas via Malaysia for the release of the Thai captives, he added.
The prime minister said the negotiators were waiting for a ceasefire of one or two days to provide a window for hostages to be escorted from the Gaza Strip.
Thailand was depending on Malaysia as its intermediary for efforts to seek the hostages’ release, the PM said.
Parliament president’s deputy Muk Sulaiman told reporters on Sunday that the 23 Thai hostages were being taken good care of and were still safe.
Muk, a lead negotiator, said Iranian authorities have confirmed the identities of Thai captives and Tehran had informed him that Hamas was now ready to free them.
Muk said Hamas was simply waiting for the right time and a safe route to escort the hostages out of the Gaza Strip. Once a window of opportunity is open, Hamas would inform him via Iran so that Parliament President Wan Muhammad Noor Matha could travel to Iran and receive the hostages as they are released, Muk added.