TEHRAN/CAIRO, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Syrian militants released 48 Iranians abducted in the Syrian capital of Damascus in August, 2012, Iranian Press TV reported Wednesday.
The armed rebels swapped the abducted Iranians for a number of inmates held by the Syrian government, said the report.
Meanwhile, Turkish Anadolu news agency said that the swap was made under a deal mediated by Turkey and Qatar, which stipulated the release of 2,130 rebels held by the Syrian government, including several Turkish nationals, in exchange for the 48 Iranians nationals.
Chairman of Turkish Humanitarian Aid Foundation, Bulent Yildirim, was quoted by Anadolu as saying "Swap of prisoners began in several locations of Damascus on Wednesday."
In August, a total of 48 Iranians were abducted by the Syrian militants in Damascus, whom Iran claimed to be pilgrims while the Syrian rebels alleged that they were Iranian military officials in Syria.
TEHRAN, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast reiterated on Tuesday the country's "full support" for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's recent peace plan for the Arab state.
Talking to reporters in his weekly press briefing on Tuesday, Mehmanparast said that Assad's plan can improve the situation in Syria, a day after he said the Islamic republic supports the Syrian president's Sunday remarks and his proposed peace plan. Full story
UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Monday voiced his disappointment with the latest speech by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Ban is "disappointed" that the recent remarks of Assad "does not contribute to a solution that could end the terrible suffering of the Syrian people," said a statement issued here by Ban's spokesman. "What the Syrian people desperately need at this time are real solutions to the crisis that is tearing their nation apart." Full story