American hostage Thomas Sutherland started his seventh year in captivity Sunday, but his wife thinks his freedom is near. "Somehow we have this feeling that there is a new hope. . . . Everyone now is somehow working together to make the release happen," Jean Sutherland said.
"Instead of counting the days, months and years of his captivity, we are counting days toward the time that everyone gets released."
Sutherland, 60, is one of 12 Westerners missing in Lebanon and thought to be held by Shiite Moslem fundamentalists. The others are five Americans, three Britons, two Germans and an Italian.
Mrs. Sutherland came to Lebanon a month ago to be near her husband on the anniversary of his abduction.
British Foreign Office minister, Douglas Hogg, flew to Beirut on Sunday for talks with Lebanese officials and Moslem leaders in a bid to speed up the hostages' release.