Lebanon News

Gul says spoke to kidnapped bishop: source

FILE - A file picture taken on February 10, 2013 shows Syrian Bishop Boulos Yaziji (seated-L), head of the Greek Orthodox church in Aleppo, during the enthroanment in Damascus of his brother Yuhanna X Yazigi (seated-R) as the Patriarch of Antioch. (AFP PHOTO / LOUAI BESHARA)

BEIRUT: Turkish President Abdullah Gul informed officials in the Syriac Orthodox Church Thursday that he had spoken with Yuhanna Ibrahim, the Syriac Orthodox bishop who was kidnapped in Aleppo earlier this week.

Bishop Daniel Kourieh of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Beirut told The Daily Star he was informed by Patriarch Zakka Iwas that Gul “personally spoke” to Bishop Ibrahim.

Ibrahim, along with Aleppo’s Greek Orthodox Bishop Boulos Yaziji, were kidnapped Monday by armed men en route from the Turkish border.

Kourieh quoted a bishop in the Syriac Orthodox in church based in Turkey as saying Gul was closely following-up on the kidnapping and exerting efforts to secure their release.

He said the kidnapped bishops were in good health, adding that the captors have not made any demands or requested a ransom.

Habib Efram, president of the Syriac League in Lebanon, denied local media reports that said Gul spoke to Iwas.

“Gul spoke to a bishop in the Syriac Orthodox Church in Turkey and informed him that Turkey is exerting efforts for the release of bishops Boulos Yaziji and Yuhanna Ibrahim," Efram told the Voice of Lebanon radio station.





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