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Report: Pompeo Says Refugee Return Premature, U.S. Rejects Naturalization

The time for returning Syrian refugees to their country has not come yet and the United States is not seeking to naturalize them in the neighboring countries, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly said during his visit to Lebanon.

“The Syrian refugee return must be safe and voluntary, in line with the U.N. Charter which we should respect and abide by in dealing with this file,” politicians who met Pompeo during a dinner hosted by MP Michel Mouawad quoted the U.S. official as saying.

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Aoun Arrives in Moscow on Official Visit

President Michel Aoun on Monday arrived in Moscow on an official visit, the National News Agency said.

The president was received at the airport by the Russian president’s Mideast envoy and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, the Russian foreign ministry’s head of protocol, and Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin.

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Eight Lebanese Face 'Terrorism' Trial in UAE

Eight Lebanese citizens, all Shiite Muslims, have been charged with "terrorism" in the UAE and denied legal representation in a trial "marred with violations," Human Rights Watch said Monday.

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Bassil: Those who Believe in Unilateralism Must Fall

Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil on Sunday announced that those who “believe in unilateralism” must “fall.”

“Our people are moderate and terrorism cannot live among them and this region is a good example,” said Bassil during a tour of the northern region of Minieh-Dinniyeh.

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Lebanese Kills Indian, Wounds Three in Zahle

A Lebanese man on Sunday shot dead an Indian national and wounded three others of the same nationality in Zahle’s industrial zone, the National News Agency said.

It said the man opened fire on them from a Kalashnikov assault rifle at dawn around 3:00 am after engaging in a fistfight with them and accusing them of “nuisance and annoyance.”

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Qaouq Slams 'Hostile U.S. Stances', Nasrallah to Speak Tuesday

Hizbullah central council member Sheikh Nabil Qaouq on Sunday slammed what he called the “hostile U.S. stances,” in the wake of a visit to Lebanon and the region by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“U.S. President Donald Trump’s racist speech is the cause of the massacre against worshippers in New Zealand,” Qaouq said in a speech in the southern town of Ain Ebel.

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Berri Says 'Hoff Suggestion' Shelved during Pompeo Visit

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Lebanon was important in terms of “putting an end” to a suggestion by former U.S. official Frederick Hoff on the demarcation of the maritime border between Lebanon and Israel, sources close to Speaker Nabih Berri said.

The suggestion “was based on Lebanon’s acceptance to renounce its right to the maritime Block 8, which covers over 800 square kilometers of its Exclusive Economic Zone,” the sources told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper in remarks published Sunday, noting that Lebanon had rejected that proposal.

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Pompeo Says Up to Lebanon to Talk to Assad on Refugees, Sanctions Won't Harm Economy

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that Washington does not want to harm the Lebanese economy with its new sanctions on Hizbullah, as he noted that it is up to the Lebanese to coordinate with Damascus on the thorny issue of returning refugees.

Describing Iran-backed Hizbullah as “so dangerous,” Pompeo described the group as “a threat that is posed to all these people (in Lebanon), Christians and Muslims.”

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Pompeo Tours Lebanese Historical Sites in Ancient City

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his wife Susan spent much of the second and last day of their visit to Lebanon touring historical churches and a centuries-old citadel in the coastal city of Byblos on Saturday.

The tour in Byblos and a nearby village came a day after Pompeo blasted Hizbullah and called on the Lebanese people to stand up to its "criminality."

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Fire Rips Through Refugees’ Encampment in Bekaa

Fire erupted on Saturday in an encampment for Syrian refugees in a town near the city of Baalbek in the eastern Bekaa valley, the National News Agency reported.

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