Sep 182016
Kjartan Sekkingstad, Abu Sayyaf, Rodrigo Duterte, Moro National Liberation Front

Released Norwegian hostage Kjartan Sekkingstad carries a backpack as he boards a plane to take him to Davao city for an audience with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016 on Jolo island, Sulu province in southern Philippines. (AP Photo/Nickee Butlangan)

MANILA — Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and Norway’s ambassador to the Philippines Erik Forner thanked President Duterte for Sekkingstad’s safe release from the Abu Sayyaf, with Forner acknowledging Duterte’s commitment as crucial to the resort manager’s release.

Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines Erik Forner  said, “The President’s personal commitment even before he took office has been crucial in solving this issue.”

Forner also thanked Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza for his “tireless efforts.”

“I would like to express my heartfelt thank you to the President, Secretary Dureza, (Moro National Liberation Front) chairman (Nur) Misuari and his finest men who released me yesterday afternoon, got me out of captivity,” Sekkingstad said on Sunday (Sept. 18).

“Also the Norwegian Embassy, the Norwegian team. My Filipino family and my family in Norway. Everybody who has helped make this release possible.”

“I am very happy to be alive and free. It’s a beautiful feeling.”  SFM

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