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Lebanon Seeks Francophone Support against Terrorists

Culture Minister Rony Araiji has said the Lebanese delegation at the Francophonie Summit, which will be held in Dakar this weekend, is planning to urge participants to reject terrorism in the closing statement.

In remarks to An Nahar daily, Araiji said he and Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil will discuss with the representatives of the participating states the threat of terrorism.

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Ain el-Hilweh Leadership to Investigate Mawlawi's Presence, Rejects Shaker's Statements

The Palestinian leadership at the southern Ain el-Hilweh refugee camp pledged to investigate the presence of Islamist fugitive Shadi al-Mawlawi and singer turned fugitive Islamist Fadel Shaker, fearing the occurrence of a war similar to Nahr al-Bared.

As Safir newspaper reported on Monday that contacts are ongoing between the Army intelligence and the Higher Palestinian leadership at Ain el-Hilweh over Shaker's recent statements and Mawlawi's reported presence in the camp.

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Lebanon to Host International Conference to Reject Terrorism, Encourage Dialogue

Adyan Foundation and the Lebanese American University will organize an international conference this week to discuss the role of religion in combating terrorism.

The two-day conference on “Religious and Political Values” will kick off at the Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand Hotel on Wednesday and will continue at the LAU campus in Jbeil.

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Report: Prisoners Swap Deal with Jihadists Reaches Breakthrough

Negotiations over the release of Lebanese soldiers and policemen abducted by jihadists, who briefly overran the northeastern border town of Arsal in August, reached a breakthrough, al-Liwaa newspaper reported on Monday.

According to the daily, the mediation carried out by the Qatari-appointed negotiator, Syrian Ahmed al-Khatib, succeeded in easing several complications.

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Salam Expresses Distress over Cabinet's Performance, Urges Rivals to Ease Crises

Prime Minister Tammam Salam criticized on Monday the performance of his cabinet, expressing hope that the political arch-foes would facilitate things instead of complicating them.

“The cabinet is exerting efforts to resolve the Syrian refugees and abducted servicemen crises,” Salam said in comments published in several local newspapers.

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Couple, Relative Abducted by Gunmen in Tripoli over Marriage Dispute

A couple and their relative were kidnapped Sunday in the northern city of Tripoli in connection with a marriage dispute.

“A man, his wife and his cousin were abducted in the Tripoli area of al-Dam wal Farz over family disputes,” state-run National News Agency revealed, denying earlier media reports that said the abductees were two women and a child.

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Adwan: Geagea Can't Compel Nominees to Withdraw, Berri Patriotic Par Excellence

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea is willing to compete with Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun for the presidency but he cannot compel the other candidates to withdraw from the race, LF bloc MP George Adwan has announced.

Geagea “is ready to contend with General Aoun for the presidential post, but we can't oblige others to refrain from nominating themselves,” Adwan said in an interview with al-Liwaa newspaper to be published Monday.

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Salam Receives Message from Hollande on Independence Day Hoping for Election of President

Prime Minister Tammam Salam received on Sunday a message from French President Francois Hollande on the occasion of Independence Day, during which he expressed France's keenness on Lebanon's unity, stability, and sovereignty.

He added: “As prime minister, you are keen on safeguarding state institutions at this critical time and this should be translated into the election of a president as soon as possible.”

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Army Arrests Suspect Linked to Bhannine Clashes

The army carried out on Sunday raids against a number of houses in the northern region of Bhannine in search of wanted suspects, reported the National News Agency.

It said that it arrested a suspect linked to clashes that erupted in the region last month.

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Gemayel Fears Obstruction of Presidential Polls Aimed at Altering Lebanese Entity

Kataeb Party leader Amin Gemayel condemned on Sunday the ongoing vacuum in the presidency, calling for holding a dialogue session in order to elect a president.

He said: “We fear that the unconstitutional obstruction of the polls is aimed at paving the way to altering the Lebanese entity.”

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