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EU Ambassador Says Refugees Won’t Return Soon even if there were Peace

The head of the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon, Ambassador Christina Lassen, has said that Syrian refugees will not return to their country quickly even if there were peace.

“What we eventually want is a solution to the crisis. They have to return home,” Lassen told As Safir daily published on Friday.

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Aoun: Honesty Governs Relation with Hizbullah, LF Agreement Not against Anyone

Free Patriotic Movement founder MP Michel Aoun emphasized Thursday that the FPM's relation with Hizbullah is characterized by honesty and stressed that the recent rapprochement with the Lebanese Forces is “not targeted against anyone.”

“We always share the same vision regarding the urgent issues and our agreement with Hizbullah is based on grand and ethical ideas,” Aoun told Hizbullah's al-Manar TV in an interview marking ten years since Hizbullah and the FPM signed their famous Memorandum of Understanding.

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Syrian Shot Dead near Army Air Base after Failing to Stop at Checkpoint

A Syrian motorcyclist was shot dead Thursday near an army air base in the North after failing to stop at a checkpoint, state-run National News Agency reported.

“Army troops opened fire from their checkpoint near the Qlayaat Air Base at a motorcyclist who did not heed their repeated calls for him to stop,” NNA said.

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Fayad Freed after Prague Decides Not to Extradite Him to U.S.

The Czech Republic's justice minister has decided that a Lebanese national cannot be extradited to the United States to face weapons charges, a Prague official said on Thursday.

Prague's Municipal Court allowed the extradition in September but the minister, Robert Pelikan, has the final say and said "no" Thursday.

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'Dangerous Terror Cell' Busted in Tripoli as 5 Suspects Held in Akkar, Bekaa

A “dangerous terrorist cell” was arrested Thursday in the northern city of Tripoli, Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) reported.

“The army's Strike Force has managed to capture a group of individuals in the Tripoli area of al-Dam wal Farz after a surveillance operations,” VDL said.

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Syrian Family Travels from Lebanon to Italy in 1st Humanitarian Airlift 

A 7-year-old Syrian girl suffering from a rare form of cancer arrived in Italy on Thursday, the first of an estimated 1,000 refugees who are being brought here on humanitarian grounds in a pilot project aimed at dissuading people from embarking on deadly sea crossings.

Little Falak al Hourani, her parents and 6-year-old brother landed on a commercial flight at Rome's Leonardo Da Vinci airport thanks to the "humanitarian corridor" project launched by the Rome-based Catholic Sant'Egidio Community and the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy.

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Salam from Syria Donors Conference: We Reject Permanent Residence of Refugees in Lebanon

Prime Minister Tammam Salam warned on Thursday that Lebanon will “soon be unable to contain” the burden of Syrian refugees, demanding that improvements be made to the mechanism in which aid is made to the displaced.

He said: “We cannot accept the permanent residence of refugees in Lebanon and we demand that pledges be translated to action.”

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Zoaiter Denies Favoritism, Says he Doesn't Differentiate between Muslims and Christians

Public Works Minister Ghazi Zoaiter denied on Thursday claims that his ministry has been carrying out more development projects in areas with a Muslim population than in Christian regions.

“No one has the right to resort to sectarian incitement to make certain gains,” he said at a press conference he held at his office.

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Military Judge Indicts 6 Suspected Terrorists

Military Examining Magistrate Judge Fadi Sawan issued on Thursday an indictment against a Syrian and five Lebanese nationals suspected of belonging to a terrorist organization, the state-run National News Agency reported.

NNA said that Sawan indicted the six suspects, who are in custody, on charges of “belonging to an armed terrorist group for the purpose of carrying out terrorist activities and killing soldiers.”

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Syria Regime, Hizbullah Enter Besieged Villages after Aleppo Advance

Syrian government troops, backed by Hizbullah fighters, moved closer on Thursday to encircling rebels in the country's second city Aleppo, threatening a total siege after cutting their main supply line.

Backed by a wave of Russian air strikes, regime forces have made key advances against rebel positions on the road to Aleppo and the offensive has been blamed for causing the suspension of peace talks this week in Geneva.

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