BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Muslim Scholars call for neutral mediator

Sheikh Adnan Amama, left, arrives with a Committee of Muslim Scholars at the Grand Serail in Beirut, Friday, Aug. 22, 2014. (The Daily Star/Stringer)

BEIRUT: The pro-Hezbollah Gathering of Muslim Scholars called Tuesday for a “neutral” mediator to step into negotiations over the release of 29 security personnel and soldiers captured by militant groups during clashes in Arsal earlier this month.

The government should select a mediator to head negotiations in a manner that would preserve the prestige and dignity of Lebanon, the Army and Internal Security Forces, said the gathering in a statement published after they held a meeting.

The gathering, called on the government to abstain from compromising with militants, urging the former to secure the release of the military hostages without offering the militants “any gains.”

The Committee of Muslim Scholars, which is based in north Lebanon, had announced Friday the suspension of its mediation efforts, a move appeared to be aimed at giving a chance to foreign actors to mediate with Al-Qaeda-affiliated militants entrenched on the rugged outskirts of the northeastern town of Arsal, near the Syrian border.

 

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