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Sarkozy welcomes Ponant crew home

Latest update : 2008-04-14

The crew of a luxury yacht held hostage by pirates off the coast of Somalia last week has landed in Paris, where French president Nicolas Sarkozy greeted them. Armen Georgian reports from Orly airport.

The hostages freshly liberated from the Ponant, the French cruise ship which Somali pirates held captive for a week, arrived at Paris-Orly airport Monday evening.


French President Nicolas Sarkozy greeted them on the tarmac as they disembarked the government plane that flew them home from Djibouti.

They were brought to Djibouti by a helicopter from the French navy’s Jeanne d’Arc helicopter carrier that was patrolling off the coast of Djibouti.


Pointing out that images of the arrival would be ready for the main French news bulletins at 8pm, FRANCE 24's international affairs correspondent Armen Georgian said from Orly Airport: “This is an opportunity for Sarkozy to benefit from the happy ending to this crisis.”


The 30-member Ponant crew was freed on Friday, a week after the luxury cruise ship was hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia. Six of the pirates involved were arrested in Somalia by the French Special Forces.

Date created : 2008-04-14