Czechs help secure release of Polish national in Syria

The Czech presidential office says a Polish national who went missing in Syria has been released.

It says Leszek Panek was handed over to Polish authorities in Beirut on Monday after the Czechs secured his release from a Syrian jail on humanitarian reasons.

The 54-year-old went missing on Dec. 10, 2015. It wasn't known if he was arrested by Syrian authorities or how he ended up in jail.

The Czech Republic is the only EU and NATO country with a still functioning embassy in Damascus and represents the West in Syria.

The office says that after successful talks in Prague and Damascus, a deal was struck on Panek's release. Panek was then taken from Syria to Lebanon.

Tuesday's statement says that Panek is in satisfactory physical and mental condition.