Turkey grateful to Qatar for release of Turkish pilots

Turkey's Minister for EU Affairs Egemen Bagis receives newly appointed Qatari Ambassador Salem Mubarak Al-Shafi in Ankara on Wednesday.

Turkey grateful to Qatar for release of Turkish pilots

World Bulletin/News Desk

Turkey's Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis said Wednesday that he was grateful to Qatar for the support, determination and friendship for the release of kidnapped Turkish pilots in Lebanon.

Bagis received newly appointed Qatari Ambassador Salem Mubarak Al-Shafi in Ankara, and said they would work in close cooperation.

Reminding Qatari Emir Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani's visit to Turkey, Bagis said "Positive dialogue between Turkish Prime Minister and Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Qatari Emir helped contribute to relations and cooperation on the international stage between the two countries".

"Turkey deserves everything. I wish security and stability will prevail in Turkey," he said. "Not only Qatar but also Turkey played a role in the release of Turkish pilots. Turkey also made a great contribution for the release of Lebanese hostages in Syria."

Turkish pilots Murat Akpinar and Murat Agca were kidnapped in Beirut by gunmen who intercepted their bus on August 9. Six Turkish Airlines crew were on board, but only the pilot and co-pilot were held hostage for 71 days. They were released on October 19.

A group named "Visitors of Imam Reza" claimed responsibility for the abduction of the two Turkish pilots, and made a statement that they would release the Turkish pilots in exchange of nine Lebanese nationals held as hostages in Syria.

Lebanese hostages were also released on the same day as the Turkish pilots.

Last Mod: 23 Ekim 2013, 14:07
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