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Italian Officer Assumes Command of UNIFIL

An Italian army officer has assumed the command of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon.

Maj.-Gen. Stefano Dal Col takes over from outgoing Irish army Maj.-Gen. Michael Beary as the new head of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, known as UNIFIL.

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State Ministries ‘Confront’ Private Generator Owners

Lebanon’s ministries of interior, energy and economy stressed on Tuesday that efforts will be “coordinated” and electricity meters will be installed next year to prevent “fraud” by private generator owners.

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Aoun Meets Trenta, Affirms Need for UNIFIL Troops

President Michel Aoun received on Tuesday at Baabda Palace, Italian Defense Minister Elisabetta Trenta leading a delegation of diplomats in the presence of Ambassador of Italy Massimo Mariotti.

Aoun stressed the importance of the UNIFIL role in southern Lebanon, saying “the Israeli threats and regional circumstances necessitate the renewal of the UNIFIL mandate under the same conditions.”

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Report: Presidential Palace Plans Aoun’s Upcoming Trips to Brussels, NY, Yerevan

The Presidential Palace prepares for three trips abroad that President Michel Aoun plans to make between September and October, al-Akhbar daily reported on Tuesday.

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Hariri Denies Trip Sought French Mediation with Saudi over Govt. Formation

Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri’s media office denied media reports claiming that his latest visit to France was to seek French President Emmanuel Macron’s mediation with SA on the formation of Lebanon’s government.

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Turkish Power Ship Docks in Zouk after Rejection in Jiye, Zahrani

Turkish power generating ship Esra Sultan docked Monday in the Zouk Mosbeh area after its presence in Jiye and Zahrani was rejected by residents and political forces over environmental and economic concerns.

The ship, which docked off the Zouk power plant, will begin producing electricity by Thursday morning at the latest according to media reports. It will provide the Keserwan district and parts of the Jbeil and Northern Metn districts with around 100-120 megawatts, which would lead to a 22-24 hour power supply, whereas in Jiye it would have only provided around 40 megawatts, the reports said.

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General Security Opens 17 Centers for Syrians Wishing to Return Home

Lebanon's General Security agency announced Monday that it has opened 17 centers across the country that would receive applications for Syrians who want to travel back home.

The statement said Syrians in Lebanon could call hotlines and "regularize" their status with authorities in case of outstanding legal or security problems.

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Bassil Meets Arslan after Hayek's 'Druze Martyrs' Remarks

Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil held talks Monday at the Foreign Ministry with Lebanese Democratic Party leader MP Talal Arslan.

The meeting comes after Arslan was dismayed by remarks deemed insulting to the “Druze martyrs” of the civil war which have been voiced by senior FPM official Naji Hayek.

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MP Jumblat Visits Russia to Discuss Protection of Syria Druze

MP Taymour Jumblat, the head of the Democratic Gathering bloc, has visited Russia to discuss the situations of the Druze community in Syria's Jabal al-Arab region in the wake of the latest Islamic State rampage and the consequent abductions and executions.

“My visit to the Russian capital and my meeting with the friend Mikhail Bogdanov, the deputy foreign minister and special envoy of the Russian president, was an opportunity to affirm the historic relation and continuous friendship with the Russian state, with which we have common struggles,” Jumblat said in a statement.

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Hizbullah Official Says 'Foreign Intervention' Delaying Cabinet Formation

A senior Hizbullah official blamed “embassies of regional countries” for the delay in the formation of Lebanon’s Cabinet, the National News Agency reported on Monday.

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