Miqati on Pilgrims’ Release: We Hope it Will Pave Way to Dialogue among Political Factionsإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Prime Minister Najib Miqati praised on Friday Speaker Nabih Berri and Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah for their efforts in ensuring the release of the 11 Lebanese pilgrims who were released from captivity in Syria earlier on Friday.
He said in a statement: “We hope this occasion will enable the Lebanese to overcome all obstacles that prevented them from holding dialogue given the goodwill showed by all sides.”
He also noted former Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s efforts in ensuring the release.
“This is a glorious day that reflects the unity of the Lebanese people,” remarked Miqati.
On the details of the release, he said that he does not have exact details of how they were set free, adding that he had held contacts with various Turkish officials.
“We thank the Turkish authorities and all those concerned for their efforts,” he stressed.
“We will meet tonight at the airport to greet the pilgrims,” he added.
The pilgrims were kidnapped in the city of Aleppo on Tuesday as they were returning from a pilgrimage to Iran.
Earlier on Friday, Miqati had warned the Lebanese against disunity and rivalry, saying their strength lies in their solidarity and coordination.
“I congratulate all the Lebanese on the occasion of Liberation Day,” Miqati said on his twitter feed.
Liberation Day commemorates the Israeli army’s withdrawal from south Lebanon in May 2000. Several rallies are being held on Friday in southern towns on the occasion.
“The solidarity of the Lebanese and their unity contributed to the liberation and were an important factor in confronting the Israeli aggression on Lebanon in July 2006,” he tweeted.
“The strength of the Lebanese lies in their solidarity and unity … and their weakness lies in fragmentation and rivalry,” Miqati said.
He also hoped that “Lebanon and its citizens would be protected at all times.”
Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn also said on Liberation Day that the Lebanese should rally behind the army and support the resistance.
He called on the Lebanese not to shove the military into political issues, saying the only enemy is Israel.
“There is another less dangerous enemy which is terrorism. It has no religion nor sect,” Ghosn added.