Article from the Lebanese daily newspaper Al Akhbar
As negotiations were underway to release the Maaloula nuns held in a palace in the Damascus countryside, their kidnappers raised impossible demands, taking the case back to square one.
Informed sources told Al-Akhbar that ongoing negotiations to procure the release of the Maaloula nuns kidnapped by al-Nusra Front and held in the Syrian city of Yabroud close to the Lebanese border have been deadlocked since December 6. The sources also pointed to an unwelcome development regarding the fate of one of the two bishops, Yohanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yazigi, who were kidnapped in Aleppo about eight months ago.
The sources pointed out that a non-Syrian official in the group holding the nuns had expressed a desire to quickly resolve this issue before another official from the same group stepped in, slowing the process and making additional demands.
The sources said three parties are working to reach an agreement with the kidnappers. The first and most serious party is a global organization that has strong influence in Syria these days. The second party is a coordinating group that includes Lebanon, Qatar, and Turkey. The last party is a Syrian businessman who has strong ties to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad but also wields influence on the ground in Yabroud. Read the full article here