After having been held hostage for more than five years, Gilad Shalit will return to Israel today.
Foreign Minister Westerwelle welcomed the release. Today (18 October) he issued the following statement in Berlin:
“I am relieved that Gilad Shalit is finally free and can take his family in his arms again after more than five years. His fate has touched all of Israel deeply, as it has touched us. At this moment, we are rejoicing with him and his family.
I am glad that Germany was able to help bring about Gilad Shalit’s release. Our help and support were a natural extension of our friendship with Israel.
The release of Gilad Shalit and the related exchange of prisoners must now be seized as an opportunity to bring new momentum to the Middle East peace process. I welcome the fact that the representatives of the Middle East Quartet plan to hold initial talks with the parties to the conflict in a few days’ time.”