Turkish Ambassador Confirms Contacts with Hizbullah

Turkish ambassador to Lebanon Inan Ozeldiz revealed on Monday that his country has steady contacts with Hizbullah, saying that the fate of the two kidnapped Orthodox bishops, who were seized in northern Syria in April.

“We don't agree with Hizbullah regarding the situation in Syria but it's a Lebanese party and we take it's point of view into consideration,” the ambassador said in comments published in As Safir newspaper.

He noted that Turkey discusses with Hizbullah the situation in Lebanon and the region and the different points of view regarding Syria doesn't mean that there is a gap between the two.

“We have points in common regarding several issues,” the Turkish diplomat told the newspaper.

Hizbullah has sent its fighters to Syria to assist troops loyal to President Bashar Assad against the rebels seeking to topple him.

Once a close ally of Syria, Turkey has cut off ties with the regime in Damascus since Assad's deadly crackdown on popular dissent began in March 2011 and has become one of the most fervent supporters of the Syrian rebellion.

Asked about the case of the two abducted bishops Youhanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yazigi who were kidnapped on April 23 in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo while they were on a humanitarian work, the Turkish ambassador said that his country has “no presence in Syria since 2012.”

“Turkey has no means to find any of those who were abducted in Syria,” the daily quoted the ambassador as saying.”

Ozeldiz said that “no one knows the whereabouts of the two bishops... Any information we have is neither accurate nor confirmed... No one knows their fate.”

He expressed hope that the two bishops are well and would be freed swiftly.

The ambassador said that if his country had any capabilities to free the two bishops it would do it without any delay.

Photo credit: As Safir newspaper

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