Rival Factions Hail Hariri’s Efforts to Release Lebanese Pilgrims

Posted on: May 27, 2012 at 00:55
Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s efforts to ensure the release of the Lebanese pilgrims who were abducted earlier this week have not gone unnoticed by the rival political camps in Lebanon, with both sides praising his efforts.

Interior Minister Marwan Charbel stated that Hariri “played a very important role” in the release, reported the Kuwaiti al-Seyasseh newspaper on Saturday.

He has opened a new chapter in Lebanon, added the minister.

He hoped that this development would pave the way to resuming the national dialogue.

Hariri had placed his private jet at the disposal of the pilgrims for their return to Lebanon.

The Kuwaiti al-Anba newspaper noted on Saturday the “positive” rhetoric between Hizbullah and the Mustaqbal Movement in light of the news of the release, saying that it should pave the way for the resumption of the national dialogue.

Loyalty to the Resistance bloc MP Ali Ammar “thanked all the Lebanese leaderships that helped ensure the release, starting with President Michel Suleiman, Prime Minister Najib Miqati, and Hariri.”

“The incident should convince all sides that Lebanon can accommodate all powers,” he added.

Development and Liberation bloc MP Yassine Jaber told al-Anba that Hariri’s step “demonstrates that nothing can divide the Lebanese people.”

He reiterated Speaker Nabih Berri’s word of thanks to the former premier, saying that we need to improve ties between the various factions.

Meanwhile, MP Butros Harb stated that “Hariri played a major role the thwarting a conspiracy against Lebanon.”

“His actions demonstrated the Lebanese people’s commitment to civil peace,” he noted.

On Friday, Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat called for dialogue “for the sake of rescuing the country and overcoming obstacles,” stressing that “nothing is impossible.”

Commenting on the release of the Lebanese Shiite pilgrims, he told Future News television: “The phone call between Hariri and Berri was the most important thing, because problems can be overcome through communication and dialogue.”

The former premier had contacted the speaker on Friday to inform him of the release of the pilgrims.

Hariri’s efforts also received praise on Friday from Miqati and Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, who both hoped that this development would help pave the way for dialogue among the Lebanese faction.

President Michel Suleiman had called for the national dialogue to be resumed in June.

The 11 Lebanese pilgrims were abducted in Aleppo in Syria on Tuesday and news of their release broke out on Friday.

The Free Syrian Army was accused of being behind the abduction, a claim it denied.

It said that it is seeking every effort to achieve their release.

Conflicting reports have emerged Saturday on whether the pilgrims have in fact been released, with official sources informing LBC television that they are still in the hands of their abductors in Syria.
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