Jreij: Fleiti Accepted by All Sides to Assume Negotiations on Arsal Captivesإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Information Minister Ramzi Jreij stressed that contacts over the negotiations to release the servicemen abducted from the northeastern border town of Arsal are taking place in coordination with General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim, reported the Kuwaiti daily al-Seyassah on Thursday.
He told the daily: “Arsal deputy municipal chief Ahmed Fleiti is accepted by all sides.”
Fleiti's names has been floated around in recent days to tackle the negotiations.
“It is possible to have more than one negotiator,” explained Jreij.
In addition, the minister welcomed the families of the captives' initiative to reopen the road at Beirut's Riad al-Solh square, where they had been protesting to pressure the state to exert greater efforts to release their loved ones.
He deemed the step as “positive”, saying it will pave the way for negotiations to kick off in a “proper manner.”
The families of the servicemen decided Tuesday to reopen the vital Riad al-Solh road as a “holiday gift” for the Lebanese, as Arsal municipal chief Ali al-Hujeiri revealed that the coming days will carry positive developments in the case.
As for the ongoing negotiations, media reports said that Fleiti held a series of meetings with officials in Beirut on Tuesday and he is still expressing his optimism regarding the case.
The policemen and soldiers were abducted by Islamist gunmen in the wake of battles in Arsal in August.
A few of them have since been released, four were executed, while the rest are still being held.
The hostage-takers have warned the Lebanese authorities that they would kill more captives if they did not meet their demands.
Among their demands is the release of Islamist prisoners in Lebanon.