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EU welcomes release of BBC reporter
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21:28, July 04, 2007

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European Union (EU) leaders on Wednesday welcomed the release of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston after almost four months in captivity in the Gaza Strip.

In a statement, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana expressed his great satisfaction after the liberation of Johnston early Wednesday morning.

"I have just been informed that Alan Johnston has been released today early in the morning. I am delighted and relieved to see that he is now free," Solana said.

"I hope he will very soon be reunited with his family and friends and recover from the hardships he has been through during his long captivity," he added.

European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pottering also extended his welcome.

"This is wonderful news and a tremendous relief for Alan Johnston, his family, friends and colleagues who have worked tirelessly throughout this ordeal to bring about today''''s happy outcome," Pottering said in a statement.

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