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Georgian Sailors Freed

ISTANBUL — The leaders of Georgia and Turkey have welcomed 15 Georgian and three Turkish sailors who were released more than a year after their Greek-owned ship was captured by Somali pirates.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan greeted the 18 sailors at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport on Friday. They were released five days earlier.

The crew were taking the ship Olib from Egypt to India when it was captured by pirates on Sept. 8, 2010.

The leaders said Georgia and Turkey were involved in "joint efforts" and diplomatic negotiations that secured the sailors' release.

It was not clear whether any ransom was paid.

(AP)

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