Ministerial Committee Assesses Charbel’s Negotiations with Turkey on Abducted Lebaneseإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
A ministerial committee tasked with following up the case of the kidnapped Lebanese in Syria held a meeting on Tuesday without issuing a statement.
Labor Minister Salim Jreissati said after the talks that the next session will be held at Interior Minister Marwan Charbel’s office on Friday.
Tuesday’s meeting was aimed at assessing the talks Charbel held with Turkish officials along with General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim last week.
The meeting was preceded by talks between Charbel and the Turkish ambassador to Beirut, Inan Ozyildiz.
The minister reiterated that he is planning to make another visit to Turkey to resolve the case of 11 Lebanese pilgrims kidnapped by Syrian rebels since May, As Safir newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The 11 men were returning from a pilgrimage to Iran on May 22 when they were seized by armed rebels in the northern province of Aleppo.
There were conflicting reports on their fate last week after Syrian government troops shelled the area of Aazaz where they were being held.
But following talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Saturday, French FM Laurent Fabius informed President Michel Suleiman and Speaker Nabih Berri in a telephone conversation that the pilgrims are alive and doing well.
Turkish officials are serious in resolving the case of the Lebanese kidnapped in Syria but “we decided with the Turks to work silently on the matter,” Charbel said.
“I am not pessimistic,” he added.
Another Lebanese held hostage in Syria is Hassan al-Meqdad. His clan has seized around 20 Syrians and a Turkish national in Lebanon in retaliation.
The family says it would set them free only if Hassan is released by his kidnappers.