Ibrahim Says Pilgrims Case on 'Right Track', to Visit Syria Soonإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim on Friday confirmed that “positive steps have been made over the past hours” in the case of the abducted Lebanese pilgrims, noting that the issue is on “the right track.”
Meanwhile, LBCI television quoted Ibrahim as saying that he would visit Syria soon for talks over the abductees.
On Monday, caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel received from the kidnappers the names of 371 Syrian women detainees held in regime prisons as part of negotiations over a swap deal, revealing that Gen. Ibrahim will start his contacts with the Syrian side over the exchange.
"I have received from Ibrahim the list of the 371 Syrian women detainees and I have examined the names in it,” Charbel said in a statement.
He noted: "Ibrahim will start his contacts with the Syrian side over swapping the women detainees for the Lebanese hostages in Aazaz.”
“We expect to receive the list of names of the Syrian women imprisoned by the regime within 48 hours,” Charbel said in comments published in the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat.
The men, who have been held hostage in Syria since May last year, appeared in a videotape over the weekend as their families warned that they "do not want to see any Turk" in Lebanon after May 22 should Turkey fail to secure the release of their loved ones.
They said the video dated to April 30.
Earlier this week, the pan-Arab television al-Mayadeen reported that the abductors have demanded the release of 282 women detainees from Syrian prisons.
Eleven Lebanese pilgrims were kidnapped by armed rebels in Syria's Aleppo region as they were making their way back home by land from a pilgrimage to Iran on May 22.
Two of them have since been released, while the rest are still reportedly being held in the town of Aazaz.
The families of the pilgrims have held Turkey and Qatar responsible for their ordeal, while accusing the Lebanese government of not exerting enough efforts to secure their release.
They have held daily sit-ins to press for their demands to set the nine men free.