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Al-Rahi Meets March 14 Delegation, Calls for Respecting Coexistence, National Pact to End Vacuum

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi highlighted on Tuesday the importance of Lebanon's diversity and coexistence among its people as factors that may help end the country's ongoing vacuum in the presidency.

He said: “Resolving the vacuum lies in adhering to coexistence, the National Pact, and Lebanon's system that implements this pact.”

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Tension High between ISIL, Nusra Front on Outskirts of Arsal

A series of tit-for-tat abductions was sparked between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) the al-Qaida-affiliate al-Nusra Front a day after clashes erupted between the two groups on the outskirts of the northeastern border town of Arsal.

Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) reported on Tuesday that Syrian national Hussam Trad, an ISIL member, went missing in the outskirts of Arsal.

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Jreij: Current Govt. Has Taken Decisions with Difficulty, Imposed Relative Stability

Information Minister Ramzi Jreij noted that the government was not expected to perform the role of the president for such a long time given that the vacuum in the presidency has lasted over a year, reported the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat on Tuesday.

He told the daily: “The government has however proceeded with its work, but with difficulty given the differences among its members.”

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Gemayel Says System Change Not in Christians Favor, Rejects Hizbullah 'Protection'

Kataeb Party leader Amin Gemayel warned Monday that any attempt to change the political system would not be in the favor of Christians, as he rejected to be “subservient to Hizbullah.”

“It's about time we all thought of the country's interest and resorted to the democratic, parliamentary procedure,” said Gemayel at a seminar titled Liberate the Presidency.

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Raad Says Mustaqbal to be Held 'Accountable' through 'Law, Not Violence'

Head of Hizbullah's Loyalty to Resistance bloc MP Mohammed Raad on Monday clarified remarks voiced by him that were deemed as “threats” by al-Mustaqbal movement, noting that his party would resort to the judiciary to hold Mustaqbal's officials “accountable.”

“We clearly have the right to demand accountability for those who call themselves moderates in Lebanon while they are embracing, supporting and justifying the presence of the takfiris,” said Raad.

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IS and Nusra Clash in Arsal Outskirts after Militant Abducted

Clashes erupted on Monday in the outskirts of the northeastern border town of Arsal between the extremist Islamic State and al-Nusra Front groups, state-run National News Agency reported.

The agency said the fighting broke out after the IS shot a man identified as Ahmed Seifeddine in the town before abducting him to its mountainous outskirts.

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Moqbel on Aoun's Confidence Withdrawal Call: I Didn't Hear Him and I Don't Care

Defense Minister Samir Moqbel on Monday dismissed a call by Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Michel Aoun to withdraw confidence from him over the security appointments controversy.

“I did not hear him and I don't care about that,” Moqbel told reporters after a meeting with Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea in Maarab.

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Consultative Gathering Warns Baabda Vacuum Threatening Lebanon's Existence

The so-called Consultative Gathering warned on Monday that the presidential vacuum is threatening the existence of the Lebanese state and entity.

In a statement read by Qazzi, the gathering, which is led by former President Michel Suleiman said: “The election of a head of state is necessary to protect the unity of Lebanon and the Lebanese.”

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2 Injured after Pelting Army with Stones in Beddawi

Two people were injured on Monday when troops opened fire at men who pelted the soldiers with stones in the northern area of al-Beddawi.

Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) said the injured men are from al-Shaabi and al-Rinawi families.

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Kaag Says One-Year Baabda Vacuum Undermined Ability to Address Growing Challenges

U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag urged on Monday Lebanon's rival lawmakers to elect a president without delay and to put the nation's interest above partisan politics.

“Over the past year, the vacuum in the presidency has undermined Lebanon’s ability to address the growing security, economic and social challenges facing the country,” Kaag said in a statement as Lebanon marked a one-year vacuum in the country's top Christian post.

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