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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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Sethrida Geagea to Sue Jamil al-Sayyed

Lebanese Forces bloc MP Sethrida Geagea on Friday announced that she intends to file a lawsuit against MP Jamil al-Sayyed, who was Lebanon's General Security chief between 1998 and 2005.

“I deeply regret the lack of morals of some people, such as Maj. Gen. Jamil al-Sayyed. I deeply regret Maj. Gen. al-Sayyed's insolence when he was asked by a journalist about the fate of our comrade Ramzi Irani and he answered: 'Ask Mrs. Sethrida and the Yassouh al-Malak group!'”

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Saniora Warns Hizbullah over Coming Period

Ex-PM Fouad Saniora on Friday warned Hizbullah to be “more prudent and aware of the nature of the coming period.”

“There is no doubt that Hizbullah had started its work for the sake of liberating Lebanon from Israeli occupation, but since the year 2000, Hizbullah's weapons have been directed towards the inside and are tampering with the domestic balances,” Saniora said in an interview with the Anatolia news agency in Turkey on the sidelines of his participation in the 22nd Eurasian Economic Summit.

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Parent Dies after Setting Himself Ablaze at School

A man died from severe burns Friday after setting himself on fire at his daughter's school over a fee dispute with the management, state-run National News Agency said.

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