Turkey chides Lebanon for abducted pilots
BAKU - Anadolu Agency
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu denied any connection between the kidnapping of the pilots and the ongoing events in Syria. DAILY NEWS photo/ Emrah GürelTurkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu chided Lebanese authorities Aug.15 over the lack of security in the country that had resulted in the abduction of two Turkish pilots.
“The release of our pilots as soon as possible is crucial. As I told our counterparts, this is a clear act of terror. Such a terror act that happens on a highway in Lebanon which goes from the Beirut airport to Beirut and that is clearly under the control of the Lebanese security forces shows either that there is no security measures in Beirut or that [the ones who did this] were somehow supported,” Davutoğlu told reporters following a meeting in Qabala, Azerbaijan.
The pilots, Murat Akpınar and Murat Ağca, were kidnapped Aug. 9 by a group demanding Turkey use its influence with Syria’s rebels, who it backs, to secure the release of nine Lebanese Shiites kidnapped in Syria in May 2012.
The foreign minister denied any connection between the kidnapping of the pilots and the ongoing events in Syria.
“It is inacceptable to correlate this [abduction] to events in Syria. Turkey cannot be held responsible for any incident in Syria. If there is someone who can be held responsible for the events in Syria, it is the Syrian regime,” Davutoğlu said.
Davutoğlu also underlined that Turkey’s efforts were continuing to rescue the pilots. A delegation from Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) met Lebanon Interior Minister Marwan Charbel on Aug. 14 to step up efforts to save the pair.