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Judge Accepts Lawsuit Accusing Saudi Minister of 'Sowing Discord'

A Lebanese judge on Tuesday accepted to look into a lawsuit filed against firebrand Saudi State Minister for Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan, who was in charge of the Lebanon file during Prime Minister Saad Hariri's resignation crisis.

“Beirut First Examining Magistrate Ghassan Oueidat has decided to accept the lawsuit filed by liberated captive Nabih Awada through his lawyer Hassan Bazzi against Saudi State Minister for Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan on charges of sowing discord among the Lebanese, inciting them to strife and disrupting Lebanon's ties with a foreign state,” the National News Agency said.

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Mustaqbal Rejects Israeli 'Blackmail' on Offshore Gas Block

Al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc on Tuesday stressed “Lebanon's ultimate right to sign an agreement for exploration and drilling in Block 9,” describing the offshore gas block as “an inseparable part of Lebanon's Exclusive Economic Zone.”

“Lebanon had long ago and according to norms informed the U.N. and international authorities of the borders of its EEZ,” the bloc reminded in a statement issued after its weekly meeting.

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Change and Reform Urges Hizbullah to Show 'Commitment to State-Building'

The Change and Reform parliamentary bloc on Tuesday called on its ally Hizbullah to “show the same level of commitment to the principle of building the state.”

“On the anniversary of the memorandum of understanding between the Free Patriotic Movement and Hizbullah, the belief is deepening day after day that the two giants who signed this agreement had foreseen the major national necessities that required this understanding,” said the bloc in a statement issued after its weekly meeting.

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Psychiatrist: U.S. Suspect in Lebanese Man's Death Schizophrenic

An American psychiatrist has testified that an Oklahoma man charged with a hate crime in the fatal shooting of his Lebanese neighbor was mentally ill at the time with untreated schizophrenia.

Stanley Majors is on trial in Tulsa for the fatal shooting of 37-year-old Khalid Jabara. Prosecutors allege Majors bombarded Jabara and his family for years with racial epithets before the 2016 shooting.

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U.S. Continues Military Deliveries to Lebanese Army

Over the last week the United States has delivered ammunition, grenade launchers, and Bradley Fighting Vehicles valued at more than $11.7 million to the Lebanese Armed Forces, the U.S. Embassy in Beirut said on Tuesday.

“On February 1, the LAF received two hundred MK-19 Automatic Grenade Launchers. On February 3, the United States delivered eight new Bradley Fighting Vehicles to the LAF, part of a package valued at more than $100 million,” the Embassy said in a statement.

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Differences 'Resolved' at Baabda Meeting, Parties Plan Action over Israeli Threats

A tripartite meeting at Baabda Palace between President Michel Aoun, Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Saad Hariri in a bid to ease political tensions concluded “positively” and the officials announced that differences have been resolved, as they planned action against Israeli threats against Lebanon.

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Aoun Says Energy Ministry Made Significant Achievements in a Single Year

President Michel Aoun said on Tuesday the accomplishments made by the energy ministry within a one-year time period at the level of building dams and signing international deals on the country's oil and gas wealth were “achievements delayed for years by fabricated obstacles.”

“The ministry of energy has made several achievements at the level of dams, oil and gas that have been previously delayed by fabricated hindrances,” Aoun told a visiting delegation led by Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil.

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UNIFIL Head Chairs First Tripartite Meeting in 2018

UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary chaired the first tripartite meeting of 2018 on Monday with senior officials from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Israeli army at the UN position at Ras Al Naqoura, a UNIFIL press release said.

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Jumblat Says Won't Visit Saudi Arabia, Describes Ties as 'Stiff'

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat said he is likely to turn down Saudi Arabia's invitation to the Kingdom to restore an alliance between the March 14 camp components, adding that he had advised Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil to apologize to Speaker Nabih Berri over his remarks, al-Akhbar daily reported on Tuesday.

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Report: Easing Tensions, Israeli Threats to be Tackled in Baabda Meeting

President Michel Aoun and Speaker Nabih Berri will hold their first meeting in two months since their row over a seniority decree in the Presence of Prime Minister Saad Hariri in a bid to “ease tensions” and address Israel's threats about Lebanon's oil and security, media reports said on Tuesday.

Al-Joumhouria daily said the meeting at Baabda Presidential Palace will begin “bilaterally” before noon between Aoun and Berri. Hariri's arrival may be delayed due to his commitment to sponsoring a celebration launching the new vision strategy for OGERO.

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