Muslim Scholars May Halt Negotiations on Troops' Release over State's 'Negative' Approachإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The Muslim Scholars Committee delegation tasked with negotiating with Islamists the release of the abducted soldiers and security forces is scheduled to hold talks on Saturday with Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji, reported As Safir newspaper on Friday.
Spokesman for the committee Sheikh Adnan Amama told the daily that the delegation will relay to Qahwaji its concern and reservations over the Lebanese state's efforts to release the captives.
He said: “We have clearly sensed that the state is not receptive of our initiative in the negotiations.”
“We have not received any positive signs from it,” he added, while revealing that the committee may abandon its negotiation efforts in favor of another side that may be more suitable for the task.
Furthermore, Amama accused the state of throwing obstacles in the path of the negotiations given the recent charges against 43 Syrians, including Imad Jomaa, accusing them of belonging to terrorist groups.
“We will withdraw from our mission on Sunday or Monday at most if the government maintains its approach in this matter,” he added.
He said that the al-Nusra Front dealt “negatively” with State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr's charges, which he made on Friday, saying that it may delay the release of the captives.
Clashes broke out on August 2 between the army and Islamist gunmen in the northeastern border town of Arsal in light of Jomaa's arrest.
Several soldiers were wounded and killed in the fighting that ended in a ceasefire on August 7.
The gunmen withdrew from the town, but abducted with them a number of soldiers and security forces.
The Muslim Scholars Committee delegation has been tasked with negotiating with the militants to release them.
The gunmen have reportedly been demanding the release of fellow Islamists from Roumieh Prison in exchange for the captives.