Jumblat Urges Lebanon to Follow in U.S. Footsteps in Swap Deal

Progressive Socialist Party chief MP Walid Jumblat called on the Lebanese authorities to walk in the footsteps of the United States, which in May released high-profile Afghan inmates in return for the sole remaining American military hostage.

“When a superpower such as the United States swaps a soldier with five high-profile Taliban (members), then small states such as us could make a similar sacrifice to bring back our soldiers,” Jumblat told As Safir daily in remarks published on Friday.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was released in late May after Qatar served as a go-between during the negotiations.

The PSP leader reiterated his call for an unconditional swap in the case of the Lebanese soldiers and policemen taken hostage by jihadists in the northeastern border town of Arsal in August.

The extremists from al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State group are demanding the release of Islamists held by the Lebanese authorities to set free the servicemen.

Doha was also involved in the negotiations to set free the Lebanese troops but it withdrew its mediation last week.



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