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Jumblat: Domestic Challenges as Important as STL, if Not More So

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat pointed out Monday that the country's domestic challenges could be “more important” than any developments related to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

“The STL is existent and the government is financing this tribunal. The court has condemned individuals and history cannot stop because of these individuals. The domestic financial challenges are as important as the STL, if not more so,” Jumblat said when asked whether there is a link between the delay in the Cabinet formation process and any expected developments related to the STL.

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Khalil Announces Solution to Housing Loans Crisis

Caretaker Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil on Monday promised a solution to the ongoing housing loans crisis.

During a meeting with Rony Lahoud, the director general of the Public Corporation for Housing, Khalil said the ministry has agreed to pay the controversial mortgage interest increase for new loans.

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'Don't Play with Justice', Mustaqbal Tells Nasrallah

Al-Mustaqbal Movement sources have snapped back at Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah over his latest remarks on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

Nasrallah's statement "don't play with fire" in his Sunday speech was “unfortunate because it reminded the Lebanese of the atmosphere of the May 7,” 2008 incidents, LBCI TV quoted the Mustaqbal sources as saying.

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Geagea: Govt. Obstruction an Attempt to Curtail LF

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea noted Monday that some parties are “obstructing” the formation of the new government in an attempt to “curtail” the LF.

“It is lamentable that some parties are continuing to obstruct the formation of the government and the interests of the country and its citizens for the sole reason of attempting to curtail the Lebanese Forces,” Geagea tweeted.

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Berri Calls for Joint Parliamentary Committee Meeting

Speaker Nabih has called the joint parliamentary committees for a meeting on Thursday, media reports said Monday.

The meeting will be held at 10:30 a.m. to continue the discussions of the draft laws.

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Aoun Meets Swiss President, Urges Hariri to 'Take Initiative'

President Michel Aoun on Monday urged Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri to “take the initiative” regarding the stalled Cabinet formation process.

“Pluralism creates problems during the formation process. We are listening to the demands and seeking to create consensus,” Aoun said at a joint press conference with visiting Swiss leader Alain Berset at the Presidential Palace in Baabda.

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Report: No STL Ruling in Sept., Nasrallah Speech Reflects ‘Uneasiness’ with Tribunal

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon “will not issue a ruling in September” as circulated in media outlets, and the remarks made by Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah about the court “reflect his uneasiness” with its outcome, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Monday.

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'Don't Play with Fire', Nasrallah Tells Those 'Betting on STL'

Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Sunday warned parties allegedly “betting on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon” against “playing with fire,” as he called for postponing the thorny debate on Lebanon's ties with Syria until after the formation of the new government.

“Some March 14 circles are saying that the main reason behind delaying the formation of the government is that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon will issue its ruling in September and that there will be a new situation in the country to capitalize on,” Nasrallah said in a televised address marking the ouster of jihadist groups from the outskirts of several eastern border towns.

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Alloush Says Hariri to Present Proposals to Break Govt. Impasse

Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri is “determined to present proposals to break the government deadlock,” an official from his al-Mustaqbal Movement said.

“His mission knows no surrender nor inability, as long as he is capable of communicating with everyone and proposing objective ideas that can rescue the country,” ex-MP Mustafa Alloush told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper in remarks published Sunday.

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Report: Hizbullah to Withdraw from All Non-Northern Syrian Regions

Hizbullah has ordered its militants to withdraw from all Syrian cities and towns except for the Syrian north, a media report said.

"The Syrian state does not need these forces after its army extended its authority over the entire Syrian geography, except for the north, for which it is preparing itself," Kuwait's al-Rai newspaper reported on Sunday.

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