BEIRUT: Iran's Ambassador Ghazanfar Roknabadi said Wednesday his country was exerting efforts to secure the release of the Lebanese kidnapped in Syria.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is exerting relentless efforts to secure the release of the Lebanese kidnapped in [the Syrian village of] Azaz,” Roknabadi told reporters after his meeting with MP Michel Murr.
Eleven Lebanese were kidnapped by a rebel group on May 22 in the Syrian district of Aleppo after crossing from Turkey, returning from a pilgrimage to Iran. Two of them have been released so far.
Qatar has recently appointed an official to follow up on the case of the kidnapped men after Lebanese officials traveled to Doha appealing for the Gulf country’s help given its close ties with the opposition.
The FSA said Wednesday it would restart efforts to help free the pilgrims as a result of a request by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
The families of the kidnapped have staged a series of protests near Qatari and Turkish establishments in Lebanon, arguing that the two countries could use their influence with Syrian rebels to gain the release of the hostages.