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PR No.14 THE GOVERNMENT COMPLETES REPATRIATION OF PAKISTANI CREW ON BOARD MV AKKAZ, STRANDED IN THE RED SEA, OFF PORT SUEZ, EGYPT. Islamabad

Ambassador of Pakistan to Egypt, Syed Mushtaq Ali Shah, expressed satisfaction at completion of the process of repatriating crew members stranded on board MV Akkaz. Last batch of the crew members was brought by the Embassy, from the stranded ship in the Red Sea to Cairo, from where they will board different flights for Karachi and Islamabad, via Bahrain and Oman, says a press received here today from Cairo.

The Ambassador explained that it was a complex mission, which involved non-cooperation from Dutch Charterer of the ship and its Kuwaiti Owner, while the ship was moored out of Egyptian port due to its mechanical failures. The mission was made possible by instant allocation of special funds by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Islamabad. The Ambassador also thanked the Egyptian authorities for their full cooperation in allowing consular access to the stranded ship and facilitating provision of logistic assistance to the crew by the Embassy of Pakistan.

It may be recalled that the ship, owned by a Kuwaiti company and chartered by a Dutch firm, set sail from Abu Dhabi on August 11 2016, with cargo destined for Port Said and Alexandria in Egypt, and also The Netherlands. The ship reached Suez waters in mid-October 2016 but could not enter Suez Canal or the nearby port, due to mechanical failures and expiry of requisite licenses.  While the ship owner refused to repair the ship the Charterer failed to pay salaries or even supplies to the stranded ship and the crew. When approached, the Embassy provided not only legal and consular assistance to the crew but also food, water, medical aid and winter gear.

Captain and crew of the Ship thanked the Ambassador for effective support which helped them endure adversity caused by refusal of their Dutch employer and Kuwaiti owner of the ship to honor their obligations. They particularly appreciated continued support and timely provision of assistance by the Embassy which helped them overcome the inhospitable conditions.

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