Kerry: We'll work to get hostages 'back on American soil'

Pastor Michel Louis: Shown after his release on Monday. AP photoPastor Michel Louis: Shown after his release on Monday. AP photoSenator John Kerry has confirmed that Pastor Michel Louis and a fellow Massachusetts tourist, Lissa Alphonse, have been released from captivity after spening the last several days as hostages in Egypt. The two were traveling with other tourists on their way to Mount Sinai when their bus was stopped and, along with their tour guide, they were kidnapped on Friday.

Senator Kerry issued the following statement on Monday afternoon:

“What began as a sightseeing tour turned into an unimaginable nightmare for these Massachusetts families and thank God that nightmare is coming to an end. I’m relieved to report that we’ve just confirmed directly with the State Department and Egyptian officials that these American citizens and their tour guide have been released. We’ve been in regular contact with the reverend’s family and we’re now working with Ambassador Patterson to find a way for them to communicate with their loved ones. I’m hoping that will happen soon and we will help in any way possible to return them to their families on American soil.”

Senator Kerry is Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. He and his office began working with the State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on Friday evening. Their work included direct conversations with Ambassador Anne Patterson, U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, on Monday morning. Kerry also sent a letter to Secretary Clinton asking for her personal attention.