Lebanese leaders condemned on Tuesday (August 21st) the kidnapping of Syrian nationals in Lebanon and called on the judiciary to take action.
"Judicial authorities are required to take immediate action and issue arrest warrants [for those involved in the] kidnappings […] and security authorities are required to work on releasing the abductees," the National News Agency quoted President Michel Suleiman as saying.
Suleiman said the retaliatory kidnappings of Syrian nationals will not help the release of Lebanese citizens abducted in Syria.
Similarly, Prime Minister Najib Mikati told Assafir newspaper that the government considers the abduction crisis a high "priority".
He said authorities have conferred "with regional and international [groups], particularly Turkish officials, in order to guarantee the safe return of all abductees to their families".
The leaders' comments came a day after a Syrian national was released by the Lebanese al-Meqdad clan, which claimed last week to have abducted 20 Free Syrian Army members and a Turkish citizen, LBC television reported Monday.
Clan spokesperson Maher al-Meqdad said Mohammad Adel al-Suleiman Mohammad was freed as a sign of goodwill "on the occasion of the Eid al-Fitr holiday".
Following his release, Mohammad called on the Lebanese government "to intervene in order to resolve this issue if it wishes to preserve stability [in the country]".