Lebanon
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UK Home Secretary Stresses 'Commitment to a Strong and Stable Lebanon'

UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd has stressed “commitment to a strong and stable Lebanon,” in a statement issued following her visit to Lebanon on February 19.

It was the Cabinet Minister’s first visit to the country since assuming her post in 2016. Rudd met Interior Minister Nouhad al-Machnouq and discussed the two countries’ “strong bilateral relations,” the British embassy said in a statement. This follows a visit by Machnouq to the UK to meet the former Home Secretary, Theresa May, in 2016.

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Geagea Urges 'Military Intervention' to Stop Ghouta 'Massacre'

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on Thursday called on the international community to “intervene militarily to stop the massacre against civilians” in Syria's Eastern Ghouta region.

“What's happening in Eastern Ghouta is a hallmark of shame for the entire humanity. No matter what the reasons, excuses or alibis may be, nothing justifies the premeditated mass killing of innocent civilians with all types of heavy weapons,” Geagea said in a written statement.

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Hariri Vows to Finalize State Budget Next Week

Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Thursday vowed to finalize the 2018 state budget next week.

“I will work on finalizing the state budget next week,” Hariri told MTV after a meeting for a ministerial committee tasked with studying the draft state budget.

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Satterfield in Ain el-Tineh, Meets Berri

U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield, mediating a dispute between Lebanon and Israel over offshore gas drilling rights, held talks with Speaker Nabih Berri in Ain el-Tineh on Thursday, LBCI said.

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Aoun Meets Senior Armenian Officials, Says Lebanon Adheres to its Border

President Michel Aoun held talks on Thursday with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan at the presidential palace in Yerevan, Aoun's media office said.

A closed door meeting was first held between the two men followed by a meeting between the Lebanese and Armenian delegations, the media office added.

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IS Plot to Blow Up Army Bus Thwarted

A plot to blow up a Lebanese Army bus has been thwarted, General Security said on Wednesday.

“The General Directorate of General Security has arrested Syrian national A.F.H., 24, for belonging to a terrorist group and communicating with terrorists,” the directorate said in a statement.

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Berri Says Israel Bid to Share Lebanon Gas 'Categorically Rejected'

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri emphasized Wednesday that Lebanon will not allow Israel to seize control of parts of its offshore oil and gas fields.

“Lebanon's stance is unified and coherent in terms of defending our sovereignty, oil resources and maritime and territorial borders,” Berri said during his weekly Ain el-Tineh meeting with lawmakers.

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Aoun Begins Official Visit to Armenia

President Michel Aoun on Wednesday kicked off an official visit to Armenia following a similar visit to Iraq.

Aoun began his talks in Yerevan by meeting Catholicos Karekin II -- the Catholicos of All Armenians and the supreme head of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

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Satterfield Resumes Oil Dispute Talks with Bassil after Meeting Israeli Officials

US Acting Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield arrived in Beirut on Wednesday coming from occupied Palestine, and held talks with Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil, the National News Agency reported.

Satterfield left the meeting at the foreign ministry without making a statement. But unnamed ministry sources said talks have focused on Lebanon's oil and land rights, assuring the US official will continue his “shuttle talks” between Lebanese and Israeli officials regarding the oil dispute.

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Aoun Meets Jabburi, Allawi in Iraq, Stresses on Arab Unity

President Michel Aoun held talks on his second day in Iraq with Speaker Salim al-Jabburi and Iraqi Vice President Iyad Allawi, Aoun's media office said on Wednesday.

President Michel Aoun first held talks with al-Jabburi in the presence of Iraqi and Lebanese delegations.

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