Qatar secures release of captured Lebanese soldiers

(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Qatar's mediation has succeeded in the release of 16 Lebanese soldiers, who were captured in Jarrod Arsal in August 2014, in exchange for 25 prisoners, including 17 women and their children.

A statement issued by the Foreign Ministry said that Qatar mediated at the request of the Lebanese government, and the relevant entities in Qatar made "vigorous and intensive efforts" in co-operation with Lebanon's General Security to secure the release of the captured Lebanese soldiers.

The success of humanitarian initiatives is the result of Qatar's vision that prioritises peaceful and political solutions for crises, the statement said, adding that the Qatari efforts stemmed from the country's absolute belief in the achievement of humanitarian and moral principles and its keenness on people's lives and their right to freedom and dignity.

Meanwhile, in Beirut Lebanese Minister of Justice Ashraf Rifi expressed his gratitude to Qatar's HH the Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the government and the people for the efforts to secure the release of the Lebanese servicemen.

The servicemen had arrived at the exchange point on 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 a related development, the Lebanese General Directorate of General Security expressed, in a statement, gratitude to all who helped in the return of the servicemen to their home and families.

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