BEIRUT: Supporters of George Abdallah Wednesday suspended protests outside the French Embassy to give ministers sufficient time to follow up on the jailed militant’s case with authorities.
The protesters also removed a tent they had set up outside the mission but warned they would resume demonstrations on Feb. 28 if Paris does not release Abdallah.
Speaking after the Cabinet session in Baabda Tuesday, Information Minister Walid Daouk announced the government’s agreement to task the existing ministerial committee following up on the case of Lebanese kidnapped in Syria with Abdallah’s case.
“The government asked the ministerial committee that is working on the kidnapped Lebanese pilgrims [case] in Syria to coordinate with French officials and resolve the case of George Abdallah,” Daouk told reporters.
Abdallah, 61, has been in French prison for 28 years for killing two diplomats, one Israeli and one American, in Paris. His supporters say that he is being kept in jail due to pressure from the United States and Israel.
Earlier this week, a French court postponed a hearing scheduled in Paris to rule on the prosecutor’s appeal against Abdallah’s release to Feb. 28. The decision sparked outrage among his supporters, who began a sit-in outside the French Embassy in Beirut.
U.S. congresswoman Grace Meng urged France Monday not to release Abdallah, saying she would draw up a bipartisan letter with other members of Congress calling on France to scrap the possible release of the Lebanese.