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FPM Sources Blast 'Hariri's Performance'

Free Patriotic Movement sources have criticized Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri over several files, including the government formation process, the Syria file and his stance on the Canada-Saudi Arabia row.

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Aoun Reportedly Called Assad to Discuss Refugees

President Michel Aoun has recently held phone talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a media report said.

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Hizbullah Denies Having 'Secret Prisons' in Dahiyeh

Hizbullah has denied reports accusing it of running “secret prisons” in its stronghold in Beirut's southern suburbs.

“Certainly Hizbullah does not have any prisons,” al-Jadeed television quoted Hizbullah's media department as saying.

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Bassil: No One Asked Hariri to Visit Syria, Ties Not Severed

Caretaker Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil announced Monday that “no one has called on Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri to visit Syria,” in connection with the latest controversy on the issue of the Lebanese-Syrian ties.

“Ties with it are not severed but rather permanent and normally ongoing and Lebanon should seek its interest,” Bassil said in an interview with Russia's RT television.

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Report: STL Seeks Info on 2 Iranians who Entered Lebanon in 2004

The U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon has recently asked the Lebanese interior ministry via the state prosecutor for information about “two Iranians who had first entered Lebanon in 2004 before leaving and returning several times in 2005 prior to ex-PM Rafik Hariri's assassination,” MTV reported on Monday.

MTV also reported that “after new evidence was added to it, the new indictment related to the connected cases may be issued before the end of public sessions.”

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Uproar after OTV Host, Guest Accused of 'Insulting Quran'

Remarks by an OTV talk show host and his guest about several Quranic verses have sparked controversy in multi-confessional Lebanon.

Commenting on the verse “You are the best nation ever brought forth for mankind,” the head of the Syriac League, Habib Ephrem, said during the show: “What do these words mean? That a nation is better than another nation? It needs interpretation, seeing as all humans are equal.”

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Aoun Urges 'Uniting Efforts' to Enable Lebanon to 'Face Challenges'

President Michel Aoun has called on the various political parties to unite efforts in order to enable Lebanon to face the current challenges.

In a message marking the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha, Aoun called for “being inspired by the meanings of Eid to put the country's higher interest ahead of temporal and partisan interests.”

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Hariri Congratulates Lebanese on Eid al-Adha

Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri congratulated the Lebanese, the Arabs and Muslims on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, praying they be blessed with peace, happiness and security, his media office said on Monday.

Hariri hoped the efforts to form a new government would succeed as soon as possible, hoping the new cabinet will reflect aspirations of the Lebanese and realize their wishes for a better country.

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Geagea Affirms Adherence to Maarab Agreement

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea affirmed commitment on Monday to the Maarab Agreement signed with the Free Patriotic Movement during his meeting with a delegation of expatriates at his residence in Maarab, the National News Agency reported.

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Lavrov, Bassil Agree to Put Refugee Repatriation Plan into 'Action'

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that Russia “rejects any foreign intervention in Lebanon,” stating during a joint press conference with caretaker Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil that they have discussed a Russian plan to repatriate Syrian refugees in Lebanon back to their homeland.

“Russia and Lebanon stand on the same page regarding the repatriation of refugees,” Lavrov said, noting that he and Bassil have discussed the file during their meeting in Moscow.

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