Erdogan expresses condolence to Lebanese PM

Turkish Prime Minister thanked Lebanese PM, for the efforts on the kidnapped Turkish pilots and stressed their release in the shortest period is of critical importance, during a telephone call

Erdogan expresses condolence to Lebanese PM

World Bulletin/News Desk

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a telephone call with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, in which he expressed his condolences for the deceased who died due to the recent terror attacks in Lebanon.

The peace and stability of Lebanon played a key role for the whole region, Erdogan said. He added that the Lebanese people, without making a divison based on religion or sect, were sisters and brothers to Turkey, according to prime ministry sources.

During the call, the two leaders also spoke about the 2 Turkish pilots who were kidnapped in Lebanon and have been held hostage for 16 days.

Thanking Mikati for the efforts to save the pilots, Erdogan stressed that the release of the pilots within the shortest time was of critical importance for Turkey.  

Gunmen abducted a Turkish pilot Murat Akpinar and his assistant Murat Agca on August 9, 2013 in Lebanon's Beirut city.

A shuttle carrying the pilot, the assistant pilot, and the crew was stopped by four gunmen on the way from the airport to the hotel.

The gunmen abducted the pilots but released the crew.

Turkish Airlines (THY) had sent a 6 person team to bring the crew back to Turkey from Lebanon.

A  group calling itself 'Zuwwar Imam al-Rida' (visitors of Imam al-Rida) has claimed responsibility for the abduction, demanding that Turkey talk with the Syrian opposition to secure the release of nine Lebanese nationals kidnapped in Syria in May 2012.

Lebanon's Domestic Intelligence Unit announced on August 13 that the identities and locations of the kidnappers of the Turkish pilots had been determined.

The Unit said that the prime suspect was Ali Jamil Saleh, whose father was among those previously abducted in Syria by anti-Assad groups.

Stating that the kidnapping was pre-planned, authorities claimed that the pilots were kept in the south of Lebanon.

Lebanese Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutor Claude Karam said on August 18 that they had found further connections regarding the 2 Turkish pilots.

On August 19, the pilots were claimed to have been located, with the pilot allegedly being held in a district of Baalbek city in east Lebanon, while the co-pilot was reportedly kept in Zavter, in the country's south.

Two days later, a Lebanese court filed a lawsuit against 13 of the family members of the nine Lebanese nationals-- who had been abducted in Syria's Aazaz city in May 2012-- in connection with the kidnapping of the pilots.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Ağustos 2013, 11:19
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