11:20 GMT13 July 2020
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    Oman, which has warm relations with most countries in the region, has often served as a mediator in high-stakes negotiations.

    French President Emmanuel Macron has announced the release of a French citizen who had been held hostage in Yemen for more than four months and congratulated all those who contributed to securing freedom for Alain Goma, who will be back in France soon, AFP reported.

    Macron expressed his heartfelt thanks to Oman’s Sultan Qaboos Bin Said and Omani authorities for their “decisive” role in Mr. Goma’s release, also thanking Saudi authorities for their “assistance.”

    According to French media reports, Alain Goma was captured by Houthi rebels during a sailing trip to India after his boat was damaged, forcing him to make a stopover at the Yemeni port of Hodeida in June.

    His boat was then sequestered by the Houthi militiamen, who control Hodeida and the capital Sana’a, where Alain Goma was transferred. In September, his family said he was "very worried” about his state of health, calling on French authorities not to “forget" him.

    Goma’s Houthi captors released him from a prison in Sana’a following “intensive” talks between the French envoy to Yemen and Houthi leaders in the country’s capital, Sanaa.

    After the Houthi rebels seized power in Sana’a in January 2015, followed by President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi's flight from the capital, a Saudi-led military coalition intervened in March 2015 to help the government.

    The war has killed 10,000 people, most of them civilians, and caused the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, according to the UN.

    READ MORE: Nurse Taken Hostage by Inmate in French Prison Released


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    gratitide, mediation, release, hostage, Alain Goma, Emmanuel Macron, Saudi Arabia, Oman, France
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