Reports: Qatar Ready to Pay $5 Million to Free Lebanese Held in Aazazإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Qatar is ready to pay a $5 million ransom to free the Lebanese pilgrims, who were kidnapped in Syria on May 22, unnamed sources told An-Nahar daily Friday.
General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim is following up closely on the controversial file and has met with President Michel Suleiman three times in ten days after his visit to Qatar and Turkey in January.
Ibrahim briefed Suleiman on his talks with Turkish and Qatari authorities. And according to reports, Qatar has expressed readiness to pay a $5 million ransom to free the hostages held by rebels in the Aleppo town of Aazaz that lies near the Turkish border.
In January, Prime Minister Najib Mikati headed to Turkey accompanied by an official Lebanese delegation, and asked Turkey to wield pressure on the Syrian kidnappers to release the nine remaining Lebanese hostages.
Eleven Lebanese pilgrims were taken captive by rebels on May 22 in Syria’s Aleppo district, shortly after crossing from Turkey while on their way back to Lebanon from Iran, where they had been on a pilgrimage.
Two of the hostages were released in August and September.
Qatar and Turkey are strong backers of the revolution against Syrian President Bashar Assad.