The German archaeologist and aid worker Susanna Osthoff has been handed over by the kidnappers who took her hostage in Baghdad three weeks ago.
German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier told reporters Ms Osthoff is now in safe hands in the Iraqi capital.
He said: “Since earlier today, she has been in the safety of the embassy in Baghdad. According to those who have seen her, she is in good physical condition. The hostage takers have also said they are going to free her driver.”
The kidnappers had delivered a video to German state television, threatening to kill 43-year-old Osthoff and her driver unless Berlin ended all support for the current Iraqi government.
During her ordeal hundreds of people attended a vigil in Osthoff’s home town in Bavaria. Her mother appealed directly for her daughter’s life to be spared.
It is not clear on what terms Osthoff has been freed. Chancellor Angela Merkel said the German government would not be blackmailed but did not give a clear answer when questioned directly about the possibility of a ransom.