FILE PHOTO: A Houthi fighter stands on the Galaxy Leader cargo ship in the Red Sea in this photo released November 20, 2023. REUTERS./

 – Galaxy Maritime Ltd, the Isle of Man registered owner of bulk carrier “Galaxy Leader” hijacked by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis on Nov. 19, said on Friday that it was encouraged by reports from the Philippines that the release of 17 of their seafarers held by the Houthis was imminent.

The bulker’s crew was made up of 25 seafarers from Bulgaria, Mexico, Romania, Ukraine and the Philippines, and the company said it was committed to meeting the repatriation expenses of all of the captive seafarers.

(Reporting by Jonathan Saul; Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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