In Dubai, Salam Says Govt. Negotiating with Jihadists but Won't Bow to 'Blackmail of Terrorism'

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
  • W460
  • W460

Prime Minister Tammam Salam on Monday stressed that the government will not bow to “the blackmail of terrorism,” after the abductors of the Lebanese servicemen threatened to murder seven of them.

“Terrorism is trying to impose its conditions on us and there is suffering, but we have to mend the wounds of the families” of the hostages, Salam said at a reception organized by the Lebanese community in Dubai, where he arrived earlier in the day for a two-day official visit.

The hostages' relatives have escalated their protests in recent days, after they received phone calls from the extremist Islamic State group, which threatened to slaughter their sons unless Lebanese authorities revoke life imprisonment sentences against Fatah al-Islam inmates at the Roumieh prison.

The IS has seven troops and policemen in its custody while the Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front is holding 17 servicemen hostage. The security personnel were abducted during bloody clashes with the two groups in and around the Bekaa border town of Arsal.

“We are not negotiating over Lebanon, but rather to liberate these abductees while preserving Lebanon's dignity,” said Salam.

“We won't yield to blackmail and we won't show weakness in the face of the threats,” the premier pledged.

Earlier in the day, Salam told reporters aboard the plane that carried him to the UAE that the Lebanese judiciary has moved to facilitate the trials of Islamist detainees and that death sentences were commuted to life imprisonment verdicts.

Salam also noted that his talks in the Gulf state will tackle “the issue of assisting Lebanon in its efforts to counter terrorism” and “the possibility of offering more (military) helicopters to Lebanon.”


Comments 0