SYDNEY, Australia (CNN) — The Australian government says it will not negotiate with a group that has taken an Australian citizen hostage in Iraq.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard said on Monday morning this was a moment he had dreaded, but there would be no change in his government’s stance.
The apparent hostage, who identified himself on a videotape as Douglas Wood, 63, was shown seated between two people wearing masks and armed with weapons.
He appealed for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq and said he did not want to die.
“Everybody knows the position of the Australian government in relation to hostage demands,” Howard told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio on Monday.