White House thanks Türkiye for help in brokering Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap
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White House thanks Türkiye for help in brokering Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap

Spokeswoman thanks Türkiye 'for facilitating the exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and Russia'

News Service AA

The US thanked Türkiye on Friday for its assistance in brokering an agreement between Russia and Ukraine that saw hundreds of prisoners of war released, including two Americans.

White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre thanked Türkiye and Saudi Arabia "for facilitating the exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and Russia."

"The United States welcomes a negotiated prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia," she told reporters. "We are appreciative of Ukraine including all prisoners regardless of nationality in its negotiations, and we look forward to these US citizens being reunited with their families."

On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Russia and Ukraine agreed on a prisoner swap deal as a result of Ankara's mediation and diplomatic exchanges with the leaders of the two countries.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed the exchange of 215 Ukrainian soldiers in a video statement and thanked Türkiye for its role. Russia, for its part, said 55 of its servicemen were released by Kyiv.

Two Americans captured in Ukraine were also released.

Alexander John-Robert Drueke, 39, from Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, 27, of Hartselle, Alabama, were taken prisoner while fighting alongside Ukrainian forces in the northeast Kharkiv region in June.

They arrived in the US on Friday.

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