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Geagea Slams 'Big Deception Campaign' on Syrian Refugees

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on Wednesday blasted State Minister for Refugee Affairs Saleh al-Gharib's visit to Syria as he lashed out at what he called a “big deception campaign.”

“The two discouraging signals represented in Minister Saleh al-Gharib's visit to Syria and Minister Elias Bou Saab's stance at the Munich conference can only spark concern over the future of the government's work,” Geagea said in an interview with the Central News Agency.

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Bou Saab Meets Hariri, Says Abul Gheit, Pedersen Back His Munich Stance

Defense Minister Elias Bou Saab announced Wednesday that his stance on Syria at the Munich security conference was backed by Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit and U.N. special envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen.

Bou Saab made the announcement after meeting Prime Minister Saad Hariri at the Grand Serail in the presence of ex-minister Ghattas Khoury.

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Aoun Refuses Linking Refugees Return to Political Solution in Syria

President Michel Aoun on Wednesday stressed that Lebanon refuses to wait for a political solution in Syria before the refugees start returning to their homeland.

“Lebanon refuses to wait for a political solution before the refugees return home,” said Aoun, stressing that “Lebanon’s similar experience with the Palestinian refugees is not encouraging” for leniency in that regard.

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Hasbani: Decisions Outside Government Consensus Don’t Represent the State

Deputy Prime Minister Ghassan Hasbani on Wednesday stressed that decision-making or remarks outside the government's solidarity “do not represent the State’s” position.

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Lebanon Challenges Trump Candidate for World Bank Presidency

Lebanon has nominated investment banker Ziad Hayek to be president of the World Bank challenging U.S. President Donald Trump’s candidate, media reports said on Wednesday.

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Report: Cabinet Holds First Meeting Thursday after Vote of Confidence

Lebanon’s government is scheduled to hold its first meeting after gaining confidence at the Presidential Palace in Baabda on Thursday to tackle 103 items on its agenda.

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4 Held over Attacks on Kataeb Office, Geagea Picture

Four people have been arrested over the petrol bomb attack on Kataeb Party's office in Sin el-Fil and the torching of Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea's picture in Nabaa, the Internal Security Forces said on Tuesday.

The attacks occurred Wednesday night in a tense atmosphere that followed a verbal clash in parliament between the MPs Nawwaf al-Moussawi and Nadim Gemayel and an angry Ashrafieh demo that was organized by Kataeb and the LF.

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Mustaqbal Says Govt. 'Solidarity' Essential, Calls for Respecting Its 'Requirements'

Al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc on Tuesday stressed the importance of “solidarity” among the government's components, saying it “essential” in the face of the current challenges.

In a statement issued after its weekly meeting, the bloc called on “some political leaders and forces” to respect “the requirements of this solidarity” and to “rein in the ongoing race for settling scores in one direction or another.”

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Strong Lebanon Says Bou Saab, Gharib Have Not Breached Govt. 'Solidarity'

The Free Patriotic Movement-led Strong Lebanon bloc stressed Tuesday that the latest actions of the ministers Elias Bou Saab and Saleh al-Gharib have not violated the principle of “solidarity” among the government's members.

“All the talk about the violation of governmental solidarity is baseless and Minister Bou Saab's remarks at the Munich conference were based on the international law and Arab and international consensus,” MP Ibrahim Kanaan said after the bloc's weekly meeting.

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Gharib Says PM Keen on Lebanon Interest after Being 'Summoned' to Serail

State Minister for Refugee Affairs Saleh al-Gharib on Tuesday declined to reveal whether or not he was “summoned” to the Grand Serail by Prime Minister Saad Hariri over his Monday visit to Syria.

“I visited Syria yesterday and after my return, I requested a meeting with President Michel Aoun to brief him on the outcome of the visit, and I also requested a similar meeting with PM Hariri,” Gharib told reporters after the meeting.

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