World Bulletin/News Desk
Lebanese Interior Minister Marwan Sharbil said on Friday that abducted Turkish pilots would be freed soon.
"9 Lebanese citizens who were abducted in Syria will be in Turkey within coming hours. Release of Turkish pilots kidnapped in Lebanon is near," Sharbil told AA.
Sharbil did not give any detail of when or how Turkish pilots will be freed.
Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stated Friday positive developments were taking place about the release of kidnapped Turkish pilots and the issue was solved to a great extent.
Speaking in 'Iskele Sancak' television program on Turkish channel Kanal 7, Davutoglu said Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MIT) worked also hard on the issue besides holding telephone diplomacy in the recent days.
"Our prime minister has followed the process personally. We also worked hard on the issue during the Eid al-Adha," Davutoglu said. "Shortly before, Lebanese Prime Minister Miqadi confirmed it, there are very positive developments about the issue. Miqadi also informed me over the progress of these positive developments [...] As of hours and days, hopefully, we will come together with our pilots and they will embrace their families. I can say that obstacles in front of it, are removed to a great extent. As a last procedure, there are steps to be taken, including some security measures."
Turkish pilot Murat Akpinar and his assistant Murat Agca had been abducted on August 9, 2013 in Beirut after a shuttle carrying the pilot, assistant pilot and crew was stopped by four gunmen on the way from the airport to the hotel.
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 9 Lebanese nationals held as hostages in Syria.
Two pilots had appeared on Monday on Lebanese LBC TV channel and they seemed in good health.
Last Mod: 19 Ekim 2013, 09:15