The Syrian government freed only 25 prisoners — and not the 150 reported by foreign mediators — in exchange for 13 Greek Orthodox nuns who had been held by al-Qaida-linked rebels, the country's information minister said Tuesday.
Qatari and Lebanese officials, who were mediating between Damascus and the rebels holding the nuns, said previously that 150 women prisoners were released early Monday.Full Story
Speaker Nabih Berri has refused to reveal the details of a proposal made with Progressive Socialist Party chief Walid Jumblat to resolve the resistance deadlock in the policy statement but stressed that the clause included Israeli attacks on Lebanon's natural resources.
Berri and Jumblat, a centrist and the head of the National Struggle Front parliamentary bloc, have made a joint proposal that will be discussed on Tuesday during the tenth meeting of a seven-member committee tasked with drafting the policy statement of Prime Minister Tammam Salam's cabinet.Full Story
The major powers are locked in a race for influence in Lebanon's presidential elections as Michel Suleiman's six-year term nears its end, As Safir newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The daily said that the United States is backing elections to choose a new president and has sent an envoy who has a specific mission to follow up the polls.Full Story
March 14 officials and ministers representing the coalition in Prime Minister Tammam Salam's government discussed on Monday night the deadlock on the policy statement as the rival parties continued to hold onto their conditions, An Nahar daily reported.
The newspaper said Tuesday that the meeting mainly tackled the impasse on the blueprint as a seven-member ministerial committee tasked with drafting the statement is scheduled to hold its tenth session.Full Story
The Syrian opposition said Monday that 141 women prisoners were freed from regime jails as part of a swap deal involving the release of 13 nuns abducted from the Syrian Christian town of Maalula.
“We have information that 141 women were released,” opposition activist Hadi al-Abdallah, who filmed a video showing the exchange of prisoners, told Agence France Presse.Full Story
Unknown assailants on Monday assassinated a high-ranking Fatah Movement official in the Ain el-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp near the southern city of Sidon.
“Fatah Movement official Brig. Gen. Jamil Zeidan died of his wounds after he was shot by unidentified gunmen in the al-Fawqani area,” state-run National News Agency said.Full Story
Detained suspect Sheikh Omar al-Atrash denied on Monday claims that he had transported booby-trapped vehicles to Lebanon, reported LBCI television.
It said that he confessed to only transporting weapons from Lebanon to Syria.Full Story
The Phalange Party hailed on Monday the release of the Maalula nuns, stressing the importance of restoring the Syrian town to its residents.
Labor Minister Sejaan Qazzi stated after the party's weekly politburo meeting: “We will not stand idly by against the conspiracy against the Christians.”Full Story
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon submitted last week its fifth annual report to the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and to President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister Tammam Salam, it announced in a statement on Monday.
The start of trial in Ayyash et al. on January 16, 2014, with proceedings broadcast by video-link in Lebanon and internationally, marked a new chapter in the history of the STL.Full Story
Arrest warrants were issued on Monday against Naim Abbas, a top official in the al-Qaida-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades, and a female suspect on terrorism charges.
Military Examining Magistrate Judge Sawan issued arrest warrants against Abbas and Joumana Hmayyed for belonging to an armed terrorist group for the purpose of carrying out terrorist attacks.Full Story