Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has called on Qatar to do its best to secure the release of Iranian pilgrims kidnapped by insurgents near the Syrian capital, Damascus. In a telephone conversation with Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jasim bin Jabir Al Thani late Saturday, Salehi urged the Arab country’s assistance in the issue.
The Qatari minister pledged to investigate the matter and make every effort to help at the earliest.On Saturday, 48 Iranian pilgrims who were traveling on a bus from Damascus International Airport to the shrine of Hazrat Zainab (AS) on the outskirts of Damascus, were abducted by insurgents. In a statement released later on the day, Iran's Consulate in Syria said it is pursuing the fate of the Iranian nationals in collaboration with Syrian security organizations. In an earlier telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu, the Iranian foreign minister called for Turkey’s immediate intervention to secure the release of the kidnapped Iranian pilgrims. SF/HJL/MA