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MENAFN - Arab Times - 27/08/2012

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(MENAFN - Arab Times) Kuwait's ambassador to Lebanon said two Kuwaiti nationals had been kidnapped in the Bekaa region, Kuwait News Agency reported on Saturday.

"The efforts to free two abducted Kuwaitis in Lebanon are ongoing and the embassy will do its best to bring them back," ambassador Abdul-Aal Al-Qana'ei was quoted as saying by KUNA.

He named the hostages as Issam Al-Houti and his wife, whom he said were seized in Bekaa, and did not say which group was thought to be behind the abduction.

Lebanon's army on Friday said it was stepping up security after a spate of kidnappings this week which targeted foreigners including Syrians and Turks.

A Lebanese security source said Lebanese authorities were aware of the kidnapping of a Kuwaiti man, not his wife. "There are no apparent political reasons for his kidnapping," he said. Some agencies said the couple had been abducted while some said only the man had been kidnapped.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates this week advised their citizens to leave Lebanon because of spillover security risks from neighbouring Syria.

Kuwait's foreign ministry has begun contacting highest Lebanese authorities to secure the release of the abducted Kuwaiti citizen, an official source at the ministry said on Saturday.

The source told KUNA that the ministry was giving Al-Houti's case a top priority and constantly contacting all official sides in order to release the hostage as soon as possible.

It affirmed Lebanese authorities' cooperation with Kuwaiti foreign ministry and Kuwaiti embassy in Beirut, which was constantly following the latest updates on case.

Meanwhile, in a recent press statement, Lebanese Ambassador to Kuwait Bassam Al-Naemi revealed the kidnapping incident is not related to any security or political issue. He affirmed it was an isolated case because some people have taken advantage of the recent political developments in the region to commit a crime. He condemned the act, while asserting that Lebanese fully appreciate Kuwait and its people and they have not forgotten how the latter stood with Lebanon during difficult times.

On the other hand, MP Khalid Al-Sultan called on the Kuwaiti government to immediately issue a warning to the kidnappers that if the Kuwaiti couple is not released within 24 hours, "we will deport all Lebanese from the country and sever ties with Lebanon.

MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei said the government has to give a grace period to Public Works Minister Fadhel Safar - the representative of Hezbollah in Kuwait - to exert more efforts to secure the release of the kidnapped citizens; otherwise, it should terminate the services of the minister.

 






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