According to an article published by Al-Hayat Sunday, Salam said he would support negotiating a deal with the militants to find a solution to the hostage crisis, but called for keeping the matter “away from competition and political bidding.”

The prime minister disclosed that he had asked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to maximize his efforts regarding the hostage crisis and received Erdogan's assurances he would do so.

“It is up to Qatar and Turkey to negotiate a deal and coordinate their efforts in this framework,” Salam said, talking to the Arab daily during his trip to New York in which he participated in the 69th General Assembly of the United Nations.

Health Minister Wael Abu Faour had announced Saturday that some steps had been achieved on the way toward finding a solution to the ongoing crisis.

“I spoke with Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim today ... and all what I can say is that things have started moving to a certain extent, but I shall not disclose any details that must remain secret,” Abu Faour said, after meeting some of the relatives of the captives in one of their tents blocking the main road at Dahr al-Baidar.

“Some preliminaries are already taking place, and we hope they will lead to an actual discussion that would eventually lead to the release of the kidnapped soldiers,” he said.

Abu Faour’s visit to the protesting families was undertaken on behalf of the Progressive Socialist Party leader, Walid Jumblatt, and was not an official visit on behalf of the Lebanese government. However, he said he had updated the families on the prime ministers trip to New York.

“Qatar’s emir pledged to intervene and made several calls at that same moment [during his meeting with Salam] with the relevant sides to launch serious efforts regarding this file,” he said.

Abu Faour confirmed that his party supports exchanging detainees from Roumieh Prison for the captives; however, he said ministers have not yet discussed the matter.

“The state is obliged to make some concessions, and no one in the Cabinet underestimates this issue,” he said. “But the discussion on whether to accept a prisoner swap has not yet been brought before the council of ministers.”