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Nazarian, Petroleum Administration Say Offshore Geological Data Wasn't Handed Over to Anyone

Energy and Water Minister Arthur Nazarian and the Lebanese Petroleum Administration stressed Wednesday that any data resulting from geological surveys for the country's offshore gas and oil “has not been handed over to any side,” refuting media reports.

This data “is the property of the Lebanese state, and the ministry and the administration are exerting efforts to maintain it and safeguard it in line with the applicable laws,” Nazarian and the LPA said in a joint statement.

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Arab Summit to Mull Creation of Joint Force against IS

The Arab League will consider setting up a defense unit to battle the spread of the Islamic State group at its annual summit later this month, an official said Tuesday.

Deputy chief Ahmed Ben Helli told reporters that the March 28-29 meeting in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh will discuss an Egyptian initiative to create a "unified Arab force".

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Guterres: Lack of World Bank Grants to Lebanon over Refugees is 'Absurd'

The U.N. refugee chief, Antonio Guterres, has called for more financial assistance for Lebanon and other countries hosting Syrian refugees, saying it is “absurd” for the tiny country not to enjoy World Bank grants

“Countries like Lebanon and Jordan need much more financial assistance – not only to local refugee hosting communities, but also through government budget support for necessary structural investments in health systems, education, water supply, electricity and other public infrastructure cracking under the huge pressure,” Guterres told the Security Council on Thursday.

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Saudi Executes Jordanian Drug Smuggler

Saudi Arabia beheaded a Jordanian Wednesday for drug smuggling, bringing to 32 the number of death sentences carried out in the first two months of the year.

Omar Mohammed Abdul Muti al-Rubai was executed in northwestern Jawf region after his confession and conviction for trying to smuggle a large amount of amphetamines, the interior ministry said, cited by the official Saudi Press Agency.

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Army Receives from Jordan 30 APCs, 12 Gun Motor Carriages

Jordan on Monday delivered armored personnel carriers and gun motor carriages to the Lebanese army as part of “continuous cooperation” with Lebanon in the face of “the threat of terrorism.”

The vehicles were handed over at a ceremony held at the Beirut Naval Base, in the presence of Major General Nayel al-Raqqad, head of the strategic planning department of the Jordanian Armed Forces.

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Arms Shipments Under Saudi $1 Billion Grant Finalized

The Lebanese state has accomplished most of the contracts under a $1 billion aid by Saudi Arabia as a batch of the arms is expected to be handed over “soon” to security agencies.

A prominent security source stressed in comments published in al-Mustaqbal newspaper on Monday that the Lebanese military finalized all the deals linked to its $500 million as a batch of light arms is “on its way” to be delivered.

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Report: Hizbullah Supervising, Funding Qaida-Linked Fighters

Hizbullah has reportedly supervised and funded fighters planning to target U.S. interests in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab of Emirates and Jordan.

Sources told the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat on Sunday that there is new evidence proving Iran's involvement with al-Qaida and Nusra Front after Tehran embraced a number of fighters scheming to attack U.S. interests in Riyadh, Dubai and Amman.

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Terror Fight is 'Third World War,' Jordan Minister Says

The fight against violent extremism is a "third world war" that knows no borders, Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said Thursday, in urging greater international efforts to counter the threat.

Violent extremists groups count foreign fighters from about 90 different countries, "all potential terrorists in their own country when they return," Judeh said during a a three-day conference on combating extremism hosted by President Barack Obama in Washington.

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Japan Unveils $15.5 mn Aid against Mideast Terrorism

Japan on Tuesday announced $15.5 million to fight "terrorism" in the Middle East and Africa, as Tokyo tries to demonstrate its resolve despite the murder of two citizens by Islamist extremists.

The amount doubles the $7.5 million in assistance that Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida pledged during a visit to Brussels in January.

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Bahrain Deploys Warplanes to Jordan for War against IS

Bahrain has deployed fighter jets to Jordan to support the U.S.-led air campaign against the Islamic State (IS) group, Jordan's information minister said on Monday.

The move comes a week after the United Arab Emirates deployed an F-16 squadron to Jordan to take part in the air strikes against the jihadists who control swathes of Iraq and Syria.

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