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Middle East Airlines pilots announced that they will end their strike at midnight on Saturday.

The pilots have been holding a strike as an act of protest against the decision made by the administration of Middle East Airlines to fire a pilot who was on medical leave.

MEA chairman Mohammed el-Hout threatened on Friday that the company would fire pilots if the strike continued.

Labor Minister Charbel Nahhas told MTV television on Saturday evening that Lebanon’s government should not be “lenient” on the issue related to the crisis between pilots and the Middle East Airlines (MEA) administration.

“This issue has become bigger than MEA and its pilots,” Nahhas said.

Nahhas told MTV that the Ministry of Labor made efforts to mediate talks between MEA’s administration and its pilots. He said that the ministry called for bringing the pilots’ strike to a halt and cancelling the punitive measures, which the MEA administration might take against the pilots.

However, Nahhas said that while the Syndicate of Lebanese Pilots accepted his ministry’s proposal, the MEA administration rejected it.

According to Nahhas, the MEA administration sent a communiqué to his ministry saying that “the mediation was illegitimate [since] the strike was unlawful and [violated] public liberties and international conventions.”

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