DUBAI - A Saudi diplomat held hostage in Yemen since March appealed to King Abdullah to meet al-Qaida's demands to free detained women to ensure his release, according to a video recording posted online late on Wednesday.

It was at least the third video statement by Abdullah al-Khalidi since militants seized the Saudi vice consul in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden.

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The United States and its Gulf Arab allies have been worried by the reach of al-Qaida and its allies in Yemen.