UN and EU jointly call for release of Estonian cyclists abducted in Lebanon

23 May 2011

The United Nations and the European Union have jointly appealed for the release of seven Estonian cyclists abducted in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley two months ago today, saying no purpose can be served by their continuing detention.

“The bicyclists came to Lebanon as tourists, with no ill intent,” said Michael Williams, the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, and Angelina Eichhorst, the EU Head of Delegation.

The two envoys said that the UN and EU have been closely following the search undertaken by the Lebanese authorities and have continuously expressed concern over the abduction.

“This criminal act is a reminder of a dark part of Lebanon’s history, which could threaten Lebanon’s standing in the international community,” they said.

Mr. Williams and Ms. Eichhorst commended the Lebanese authorities for their efforts, stressing that “no effort must be spared to bring these men safely back to their country and to their families.”

The Estonians were abducted on 23 March after entering Lebanon through Syria on their bicycles.

 

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News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

UN envoy and Lebanese official discuss efforts to free kidnapped Estonians

United Nations envoy Michael Williams today discussed the recent abduction of seven Estonian cyclists in the Bekaa Valley with Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati and the efforts under way to secure their release.