Curtis' Release Aided by Qatar, State Dept. Says

The unexpected release of Peter Theo Curtis, the American writer held captive in Syria for nearly two years, was aided behind-the-scenes by the oil-rich nation of Qatar, NBC News reported. "A range of senior government officials, including from the State Department, were in touch with partners in the region, specifically the Qataris, about working for the release of American citizens held in Syria," said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Monday. She added that the U.S. encouraged Qatar not to pay a ransom.

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