Lebanon Interior Minister Marwan Charbel praised former PM Future and Future Movement leader MP Saad Hariri’s role in releasing the Shiite pilgrims kidnapped in Syria.
“Despite the political division in the country, Future Movement leader Saad Hariri played a major role in releasing the Lebanese pilgrims that were kidnapped in Syria ” Charbel told Jumhuriya newspaper in remarks published on Friday
Charbel added that he would “disclose Hariri’s role ” at the right time.
His comments come after Lebanese Shiite pilgrim Awad Ibrahim was set free on Tuesday and handed over to Turkish authorities. He arrived in Lebanon on Wednesday.
Ibrahim’s release comes a month after another Lebanese hostage, Hussein Ali Omar was set free.
The freed Lebanese Shiite hostages were given hero’s welcome when they arrived at Rafik Hariri International airport in Beirut and in the Southern Suburb of Dhahiya
Charbel told Jumhuriya that the remaining hostages would be all released within a month but stressed that all ongoing negotiations for their release would remain secret.
Last May, 11 Shiite pilgrims were abducted in Syria’s Aleppo province while returning from a pilgrimage in Iran. Later in the month, a previously unknown armed group calling itself the “Syrian Revolutionaries—Aleppo Province” said that it was holding the group, while the Free Syrian Army had repeatedly denied its involvement in the abduction.