Hujeiri Says Hostage Crisis to Witness Breakthrough 'Soon'إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Sheikh Mustafa al-Hujeiri stressed on Sunday that the case of Lebanese hostages will witness a breakthrough “soon” as Qatari-appointed negotiator Ahmed al-Khatib visited the outskirts of the northeastern border town of Arsal last week.
Hujeiri, who is also known as Abu Taqiyeh, said in comments published in the Kuwaiti al-Rai newspaper that “a new course of action has been adopted to reach a breakthrough” in the negotiations between the Islamist gunmen and the Lebanese government.
He pointed out that both sides offered compromises through “indirect negotiation channels.”
According to Hujeiri, the Islamists militiamen agreed to decrease the number of inmates they are demanding their release.
“It is obvious that all sides sincerely want this dilemma to end,” he expressed believe, adding that the release of Lebanese servicemen will occur on two or three stages.
Media reports had said that Qatar's mediation to release the servicemen abducted by Islamist gunmen have intensified in recent days as General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim expressed his satisfaction with the course of the negotiations.
A number of soldiers and policemen were abducted by al-Nusra Front and Islamic State group gunmen in the wake of clashes in Arsal in August.
A few of them have since been released, four were executed, and the rest remain held.
The captors are demanding the release of Islamists held in Lebanon as a condition for their release.
Meanwhile, al-Rai daily said that the Qatari negotiator, al-Khatib, visited last week the outskirts of Arsal where he met with militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL).
The newspaper reported that al-Khatib received guarantees that negotiations are serious.