DUBAI, April 22 (Xinhua) -- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) welcomed on Saturday the release of the abducted Qatari and Saudi citizens after 16 months captivity in Iraq, UAE state news agency WAM reported.
The UAE conveyed "greetings to the leadership and people of the brotherly State of Qatar" in a statement released by Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
Altogether 26 hostages, among them members of Qatar's ruling royal family Al-Thani, were released on Friday after being held as hostages for 16 months in Iraq.
Gargash described the abduction of Qatari and Saudi citizens as an uncalled-for act, adding that the ordeal they went through was a reflection of the looming tension in the region.
He also expressed appreciation to the role of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and the Iraqi government in securing the release of the abducted citizens.
"The terrorism in the region feeds on chaos and instability," he said, calling for rallying international efforts "to stand against terrorism and to eliminate its roots."