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Army Chief Begins Official U.S. Visit

Army Commander General Joseph Aoun began an official visit on Monday to the United States where he is scheduled to hold talks with military and civilian officials, the National News Agency reported.

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Geagea Says Bassil Sees Partnership as 'Single-Handed Act'

Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea lashed out at Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil saying his concept of partnership is that “he works single-handed” while everyone else follows, the Saudi Asharq al-Awsat daily reported on Monday.

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Katicha Accuses FPM of ‘Monopolizing’ Power, Pushing LF Out of Govt.

MP Wehbe Katicha of the Strong Republic parliamentary bloc denied accusations that the Lebanese Forces is hampering the formation of the Cabinet, as he reversed the blame on parties he said were “monopolizing" power in the country, Saudi Asharq al-Awsat reported on Monday.

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Abillama Accuses Bassil of Violating Maarab Agreement

MP Eddy Abillama of the Lebanese Forces has accused Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil of violating the LF-FPM Maarab Agreement.

“Prime Minister-designate (Saad) Hariri is the only one entitled to distribute ministerial portfolios in coordination with the president and not that person who has given himself the right to distribute seats as he sees fit,” Abillama said in a TV interview, referring to Bassil.

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Saudi Envoy Says 'Lebanon Safe' for Tourism

Saudi charge d'affaires in Lebanon Walid al-Bukhari has reassured that “Lebanon is safe” for tourism.

“Saudi Arabia has a constantly renewing diplomatic thought and every ambassador who took part in today's event is sending a message that Lebanon is safe and has achieved security standards under which tourism in this country should be reconsidered” by any boycotting country, Bukhari said during a motorcycle tour sponsored by the Saudi embassy.

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'March 8 Sunnis' Won't be Represented in Government

The Sunnis of the Hizbullah-led March 8 camp will not be represented in the new government, sources informed on the formation process and a top Mustaqbal Movement official said.

In an interview with Asharq al-Awsat newspaper published Sunday, senior Mustaqbal official ex-MP Mustafa Alloush confirmed “the exclusion of the Sunnis of the March 8 forces from the new government.”

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Aoun Reportedly Rejects Hariri Suggestions on LF, PSP Shares

President Michel Aoun has rejected Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri's suggestions on the cabinet seats that should be allocated to the Lebanese Forces and the Progressive Socialist Party, a media report said.

“The obstacles of the size of the LF's ministerial share in the cabinet line-up and the issue of limiting the three Druze seats to those named by the Progressive Socialist Party are still the subject of disagreement between the president and the PM-designate,” al-Hayat daily quoted a source well-informed on the talks as saying in remarks published Sunday.

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'Positive Impulse' in Govt. Formation Process 'Still Ongoing'

The latest “positive impulse” in the government formation process is “still ongoing,” political sources have said.

“The possibility of finalizing the government file before Speaker Nabih Berri's travel in the middle of next week is still on,” the sources added in remarks published Sunday by Kuwait's al-Rai newspaper.

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Aoun, Khalil Discuss Economic Situation

President Michel Aoun on Saturday held talks with Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil at the Baabda Palace where talks focused on the financial and economic situation and the preparations for the upcoming 2019 State budget, the National News Agency reported.

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Drugs Hidden in Bags of Nuts Seized, Dealer Arrested

Police arrested a drug dealer who concealed salvia, cocaine and cannabis inside small bags of nuts and sold them in Beirut’s Downtown area, the Internal Security Forces said in a statement on Saturday.

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