HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani yesterday received a telephone call from Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam, during which he expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Emir on the success of the Qatari mediation which, in co-operation with the Lebanese General Security, has resulted in the release of a number of Lebanese military personnel abducted in Jarrod Arsal in August last year.
The premier thanked the Emir “for the tireless efforts made by the bodies concerned in Qatar throughout that period in order to work for the release of the soldiers”.
The Emir also received a telephone call from former Lebanese president Gen Michel Sleiman who expressed his thanks to the Emir on Qatar’s role in securing the release of the abducted Lebanese soldiers.
In Beirut, Lebanese Minister of Justice Ashraf Rifi expressed his gratitude to Qatar’s Emir, government and people “for the vigorous efforts to secure the release the Lebanese servicemen”.
The minister made the remarks after the successful Qatari mediation to release 16 Lebanese servicemen in exchange for 25 prisoners, including 17 women and their children.
The servicemen had arrived at the exchange point in the outskirts of Arsal where they were handed to the Lebanese side and exchanged for prisoners. They said they were treated well during their captivity, expressing delight at their release.
As part of the deal, Lebanese Red Cross received the body of serviceman Mohamed Hamieh who was recently killed by militant groups.
In central Beirut, the families of the soldiers and policemen, who had set up tents and staged a sit-in since they were taken captive, celebrated the news by dancing and singing in the streets.
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