BEIRUT, Lebanon, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- The Lebanese government said Wednesday it shared Ankara's concerns about any negative consequences from the abduction in Turkish pilots in Lebanon.
Lebanese Interior Minister Marwan Charbel met Wednesday in Beirut with Abdul Rahman Bulchuk, Turkey's deputy intelligence director, to discuss the recent kidnapping.
The Turkish government last week urged its citizens to leave Lebanon as soon as possible because of the national security repercussions of the Friday kidnapping. A group calling itself Zuwwar al-Imam Ali al-Reda claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, saying Turkey was responsible for the abduction of Lebanese Shiites in Syria.
The Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star reported authorities are looking for Ali Jamil Saleh, believed to be the mastermind behind the Turkish kidnapping. He's the son of one of the Shiite hostages in Syria.
Charbel condemned the kidnapping, saying it gave a negative image of Lebanon. The official Lebanese National News Agency reported Wednesday the Turkish government warned of "negative repercussions" regarding the incident.
The two pilots kidnapped last week have not been freed. The March 14 political alliance, a pro-Western group, issued a statement saying the attackers were trying to undermine Lebanon's fragile stability.
"Charbel promised to conclude the Turkish pilots' kidnapping [incident] and have hostages return to their home safe and sound," the official news agency said.