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Abul Gheit from Beirut: No Deal Yet on Syria's Return to Arab League

The head of the Arab League said Monday in Beirut that there has been no agreement so far for Syria's return to the group.

The league's secretary-general, Ahmed Abul Gheit, made the remarks after meeting President Michel Aoun.

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Jumblat Meets Berri, Tells Hariri Electricity Loan is 'Not Reform'

Progressive Socialist Party leader ex-MP Walid Jumblat held talks Sunday with Speaker Nabih Berri and addressed a new jab at Prime Minister Saad Hariri despite the latest "pacification" between them.

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Paris Tells Lebanon It's Committed to CEDRE Funds

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Sunday reassured Prime Minister Saad Hariri during a meeting in Dubai that Paris is committed to pay what it had pledged at the CEDRE economic conference.

“We discussed the means to implement the reforms in Lebanon and I wanted to stress to PM Hariri that France fully supports the implementation of these reforms,” Le Maire said after the meeting.

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Ex-MP Ghanem Dies after Sudden Illness

Former minister and MP Robert Ghanem passed away on Sunday at the age of 77 after a sudden illness, the National News Agency said.

Ghanem, who hailed from the Western Bekaa town of Saghbine, served in parliament for 22 years.

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Zarif from Beirut: We're Willing to Back Govt. in All Fields

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Sunday kicked off a three-day official visit to Lebanon.

Speaking to reporters at the Rafik Hariri International Airport, Zarif said his visit has “two goals.”

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West Moves against Iran Offer to Equip Army

The military attaches of some Western embassies in Beirut have scrambled to inquire about Iran’s offer to equip the army with air defense systems, a media report said.

The offer is expected to become official when announced by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who started a visit to Lebanon on Sunday.

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Hariri from UAE: There's Consensus on CEDRE, I Want to Make Lebanon Like Dubai

Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced Sunday that “there is political consensus in Lebanon on all the reforms recommended by the CEDRE conference.”

“There is also consensus on combating corruption,” he added in a talk session with the journalist Imadeddine Adib on the sidelines of the World Government Summit in Dubai.

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Qaouq: Hizbullah Assumption of Health Ministry Post Exposes U.S. Waning Role

Hizbullah Central Council official Sheikh Nabil Qaouq announced Sunday that the allocation of the health ministry portfolio to a Hizbullah minister has exposed the magnitude of “U.S. decline” in Lebanon.

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Matar Says National Solidarity Tantamount to Reform

Beirut Archbishop Boulos Matar on Saturday said that reform can “only be achieved” through comprehensive national solidarity among Lebanon’s different components, calling on the newly formed government to work as one in order to restore the confidence of the Lebanese in their homeland.

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UN Urges Lebanon's Parties Not to Back Foreign Conflicts

The U.N. Security Council called on all Lebanese parties Friday to implement a policy disassociating themselves from any external conflicts "as an important priority," a statement that appears clearly aimed at Hezbollah which has sent fighters to Syria.

The council also reiterated its call for implementation of its resolutions which "require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon so that there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon" except those of the state. This is also aimed at Hizbullah fighters.

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