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Al-Rahi: Presidential Vacuum Depleting State's Capabilities

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi lamented on Sunday the failure to elect a new president, blaming officials for the delay.

He said during his Sunday sermon at Bkirki: “The officials are depleting the capabilities of the state through failing to stage the polls.”

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Report: Lebanon to Commit to International Decision on Freezing IS Funding

Lebanon will be committed to United Nations Security Council resolution 2199 regarding the freezing of funding of the Islamic State, al-Nusra Front and other al-Qaida-related extremist groups, reported the daily al-Mustaqbal on Sunday.

Diplomatic sources said that Lebanon is concerned with such a decision “even though it is not a main source of funding of the terrorist groups included in the resolution.”

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Salam 'Committed to Constitution' in Resolving Govt. Mechanism Dispute

Prime Minister Tammam Salam stated that he is still continuing consultations with various political parties to reach an agreement over a new government mechanism, reported the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat on Sunday.

He told the daily: “I am committed to the constitution and will not abandon it.”

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Report: New Round of Mustaqbal-Hizbullah Dialogue to Address 'Facilitating' Presidential Polls

The Mustaqbal Movement and Hizbullah are scheduled to hold on Monday the eighth round of their dialogue that was kicked off between them in December, reported the daily An Nahar on Sunday.

Speaker Nabih Berri's sources told the daily that the talks will focus on the presidential elections “and how to help facilitate consensus over it in a manner that would fortify constitutional institutions.”

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Mashnouq Orders Facilitating Entry of Assyrian Refugees from Syria to Lebanon

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq revealed that he had ordered security agencies to facilitate the entry of Assyrian refugees from Syria, who are fleeing the persecution of Islamic State group extremists, reported the daily al-Mustaqbal Sunday.

He told the daily that he had taken the decision following consultations with Prime Minister Tammam Salam and Rashid Derbas.

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Geagea: To Unite Arab and International Efforts to Combat Terrorism

Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea stressed the necessity to unite Arab and International efforts to strictly combat extremism and terrorism and all its organizations.

Geagea also underlined, in a statement issued by his press office on Saturday, the necessity to refine the prevailing image of Islam and reveal its true noble nature.

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Two Syrians Detained in Nabatiyeh for Joining ISIL Ranks

The General Security Directorate detained on Saturday two Syrian national on charges of belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The state-run National News Agency reported that Ali Abed al-Awad (41) and Awad Mohammed al-Ali (19) were detained in the area of Buwaiti in the village of Kfarjoz in the southern province of Nabatieh.

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Conflicting Reports on Thursday's Cabinet Session as Sharp Differences Loom

The cabinet could possibly resume its meetings next Thursday without modifying its decision-making mechanism, but more likely with a change in the performance, after Prime Minister Tammam Salam received assurances that political parties have no intention to obstruct the government’s work, ministerial sources told al-Joumhouriya daily.

However, contacts between Salam and the ministers continue away from media spotlight, sources close to the PM told the daily on Saturday, but they reiterated that the final outcome on a cabinet session could be taking shape.

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Report: Two Bishops Kidnapped in Syria in 2013 'Safe'

Two Orthodox bishops kidnapped in Syria in April 2013 are doing well and in a safe area away from the intense clashes between the Islamic State group, rebels and the forces of President Bashar Assad's regime.

According to a report published in al-Akhbar newspaper on Saturday, the whereabouts of the two bishops, Yohanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yaziji, remain unknown as the IS militants continuously changed their location “for reasons related to secrecy and to protect them from the surrounding fighting and shelling.”

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Report: Nusra Front Hands Over Demands to Mediator in Hostages Case

Al-Qaida-affiliate al-Nusra Front reportedly handed over to the Qatari appointed mediator a list of its demands in return for the release of the Lebanese soldiers and policemen in its captivity.

According to As Safir newspaper published on Saturday, the demands include the names of the inmates that the Nusra seeks their release from Lebanese and Syrian prisons.

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