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Jones Says U.S. to Keep Providing Lebanon with Security Aid, Intel

U.S. Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Richard Jones met Wednesday with Interior Minister Nouhad al-Machnouq as part of his courtesy meetings with various ministers, reassuring that Washington will continue to provide Lebanese security agencies with assistance and “information.”

“We exchanged views on the situation. Of course we're all very concerned, seized I would say, with the security situation,” Jones said after the meeting.

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Hizbullah Slams Tunisia, Egypt Blasts, Says Terror 'Fueled by Foreign Forces'

Hizbullah condemned Wednesday the deadly bombings that hit Tunisia and Egypt in recent days, noting that terrorism in the Arab world is being “fueled by foreign forces.”

The party “deplores the terrorist acts that are targeting several regions in our Arab and Muslim worlds, the last of which were the terrorist bombings that hit central Tunis and the Egyptian town of El-Arish, causing heavy casualties.”

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Dialogue Postponed to Dec. 14 as Franjieh Says Willing to Consider March 14 Proposal on Presidency

A national dialogue session was held at Speaker Nabih Berri's Ain el-Tineh residence on Wednesday as officials addressed the ongoing presidential vacuum and Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh urged the media against exaggerating claims on ending the deadlock.

He said after the brief talks: “Change and Reform bloc MP Michel Aoun is the March 8 camp's presidential candidate, but if the March 14 camp makes a proposal, then we are willing to consider it.”

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Reports: Rokn Abadi Found Dead in Saudi Arabia

The body of former Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Rokn Abadi, who went missing since the hajj stampede in Saudi Arabia in September, has been identified, Iranian media said Wednesday, quashing speculation he was kidnapped.

The corpse Rokn Abadi, 49, was identified through DNA tests, the ISNA news agency reported citing reliable sources.

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Saqr Charges 13 Linked to Bourj Barajneh Attack for Belonging to IS

State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr charged on Wednesday 26 people with belonging to the Islamic State extremist group, reported the National News Agency.

Among them are 13 detainees who are linked to the twin suicide bombings of Bourj al-Barajneh that took place on November 12.

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Report: Salam to Tackle Trash Crisis at Dialogue as Environment Minister Skeptical on Exporting Waste

Prime Minister Tammam Salam is expected to address Lebanon's ongoing garbage disposal crisis at the national dialogue table later on Wednesday, reported the daily An Nahar.

Ministerial sources told the daily that the premier will in the next 48 hours hold various meetings with the concerned ministers to address the issue “until the necessary conditions to hold a cabinet session are met.”

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Report: Efforts Ongoing to Schedule Aoun-Franjieh Meeting

The emergence of reports that Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh may be a presidential candidate has created a stir among his alliances in the March 8 camp, most notably the Change and Reform bloc, whose leader MP Michel Aoun is a candidate himself.

Efforts are therefore ongoing to possibly hold a meeting between the two Christian leaders, reported As Safir newspaper on Wednesday.

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Report: Riyadh Opposes Meddling in Lebanon's Affairs, Keen on Preserving its Stability

Saudi Arabian officials were not informed of the meeting between Mustaqbal Movement chief MP Saad Hariri and Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh, stressing however that it is keen on the “situation of Christians in Lebanon”, reported al-Joumhouria newspaper on Wednesday.

A diplomatic source told the daily: “Riyadh will not agree to the presidential candidacy of anyone who opposes the main views of the Christian ranks in Lebanon, especially Lebanese Forces head Samir Geagea.”

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Army Arrests IS Fugitive who Plotted Attacks in Tripoli

The army announced Tuesday the arrest of a fugitive belonging to the extremist Islamic State group who had plotted to stage suicide attacks on military posts in the northern city of Tripoli.

“The Intelligence Directorate has arrested the fugitive Mazen Ahmed al-Hajj Hussein, aka Abou Ahmed and Saeed, on charges of belonging to the terrorist IS group and plotting acts of sabotage,” the army said in a statement.

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Bassil Urges 'Truly Representative' President, 'Balanced' Govt., Fair Electoral Law

Free Patriotic Movement chief Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil announced Tuesday that the Change and Reform bloc wants a president who would “truly” represent Christians in power, also urging a “balanced” government and a “fair” electoral law.

“The stance of the Change and Reform bloc is firm: political authority must stem from real popular will,” said Bassil after the bloc's weekly meeting in Rabieh.

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