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Kataeb Delegation Meets Geagea: We Do Not Oppose Candidates, but their Presidential Platforms

A Kataeb Party delegation held talks on Saturday with Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea on the latest developments regarding the presidential elections and the potential nomination of Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh.

MP Salim al-Sayegh said after the meeting: “We do would not oppose a candidate, but a presidential platform.”

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Army Arrests Lebanese for Trying to Smuggle Syrians, Palestinians to Turkey

The army announced on Saturday the arrest of a Lebanese national and a number of Syrians and Palestinians, who were being illegally smuggled to Turkey.

It said that they were arrested overnight as they were attempting to travel to Turkey by boat from the northern city of Tripoli.

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Report: Aoun Seeking Electoral Law 'Guarantees' in Exchange for Franjieh's Presidential Nomination

Head of the Change and Reform bloc MP Michel Aoun has not yet declared his stance on the potential nomination of Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh as president, reported the daily al-Mustaqbal on Saturday.

It said that Aoun, who is a presidential candidate, is seeking to ensure that he receive “guarantees” on the parliamentary electoral law before determining his position on the nomination.

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Ibrahim: Negotiations to Release Servicemen are Serious, but Time Needed to Reach Happy Ending

General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim stressed that the ongoing negotiations to release the servicemen who were kidnapped by extremists in 2014 are serious, reported As Safir newspaper on Saturday.

He added however to the daily that these efforts “have not yet reached their happy ending.”

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Report: U.S. to Intensify Efforts to End Presidential Vacuum

U.S. Charge d'Affaires Richard Jones had held talks on Friday with Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh in what An Nahar daily said on Saturday was the beginning of efforts by Washington to resolve the presidential vacuum.

The diplomatic efforts will continue after Monday as part of a series of meetings that will examine “guarantees” linked to the elections, said An Nahar.

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Geagea: March 14 Must Not Make Any Step unless It Serves March 14's Principles, Objectives

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea stressed Friday that the March 14 coalition “must not make any step unless it serves the principles and objectives of March 14.”

“We are the Lebanese Resistance, the Cedar Revolution and March 14,” Geagea told LF members during a party ceremony in Maarab.

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Reports Say Servicemen Release Imminent as Ibrahim Says Case Hasn't Reached 'Final Phase'

A number of captive Lebanese servicemen are expected to be freed in a swap deal with the captors in the coming hours, reports said on Friday, as the General Security urged an end to media speculation.

“The Lebanese servicemen held by the Islamic State and al-Nusra Front will be freed tomorrow as part of a swap deal,” al-Mayadeen TV quoted a ministerial source as saying.

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Kataeb Delegation Meets Aoun, Urges 'Common Approach' on Electoral Law

A delegation from the Kataeb Party held talks Friday with Change and Reform bloc chief MP Michel Aoun in Rabieh, stressing that the main Christian political parties must reach a “common approach” on the thorny issue of the electoral law.

The delegation comprised Kataeb deputy chief Salim al-Sayegh and politburo member Albert Kostanian and the meeting was held in the presence of Change and Reform bloc secretary MP Ibrahim Kanaan.

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Salam Backs 'Any Rapprochement', Says Priority Must be for Electing President

Prime Minister Tammam Salam declared Friday his support for “any rapprochement” between the country's political forces, while stressing that the priority must be the election of a new president.

“We back any rapprochement or openness between political forces and we stress that the top priority in any discussion or settlement proposal must be for the election of a president,” Salam said in a speech at the opening of the Beirut International Arab Book Fair at BIEL.

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Army Arrests Nusra Member who Executed Soldier in 2014

The Army Intelligence arrested al-Qaida linked al-Nusra Front member, Ali Ahmed al-Lakkis, who had executed soldier Mohammed Hamiyeh in the wake of the Arsal clashes in 2014, the LBCI said on Friday.

Lakkis, an expert at preparing explosives and close to the so-called emir of al-Nusra Front in Qalamoun Abu Malik al-Talli, was caught with a fake Syrian passport at the Rafik Hariri International Airport, LBCI added.

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