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Zakka Hails 'Strong Lebanese State' after Meeting Bassil

Lebanese national and U.S. green card holder Nizar Zakka, who has been recently freed from Iranian prisons, on Monday lauded the Lebanese state for securing his release.

“The credit goes to the Lebanese state, which has proven that it is truly strong and that it preserves the right of every Lebanese,” Zakka said after meeting Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil in Ashrafieh.

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Hariri, Bassil Meet for 5 Hours, Agree to Activate Govt. Work

Free Patriotic Movement chief and Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil met Monday at the Grand Serail with Prime Minister Saad Hariri following tensions between them and between their two parties.

A statement issued by Hariri's office said the lengthy meeting was dedicated to “evaluating the previous stage, in light of the exchanges and stances that affected political stability.”

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Aoun Says Lebanon Ready to Grant Citizenship for Lebanese Descendents

President Michel Aoun on Monday said that Lebanon is ready to grant citizenship for the Lebanese descendants wishing to obtain it, the National News agency reported.

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ISF Arrests IS Suspects over Plots to Bomb Places of Worship

The Internal Security Forces said in a statement on Monday that its agents arrested two Syrian suspects for having links to the Islamic State terror group and for planning bomb attacks at religious places.

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Judges Announce ‘Temporary’ Suspension of Strike

The judicial community announced on Monday a temporary suspension of a strike they began a month ago over government plans to cut their financial benefits as part of an austere state budget draft.

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Khalil Optimistic, Says Parliamentary Committee Will Soon Finish Budget Discussions

Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil said the Finance and Budget parliamentary committee will soon finish discussing the country’s draft 2019 state budget “if the talks continue to progress at the same pace,” al-Joumhouria daily reported on Monday.

“Things are going normal in the finance committee, I think if we continue this pace of work the draft budget will be finished in a short period of time,” Khalil told the daily.

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Army Chief to Visit SA at Invitation of His Counterpart

Army chief General Joseph Aoun is scheduled to fly to Saudi Arabia in the next few days at the invitation of his Saudi counterpart, military Chief of Staff Gen. Fayyad bin Hamed Al-Ruwaili, “to discuss means of cooperation between the two armies,” al-Joumhouria daily reported on Monday.

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Al-Hassan: Cabinet is Right Place to Address Refugee Crisis

Interior Minister Raya al-Hassan on Sunday stressed that “the Cabinet is the right place and competent authority to deal with the Syrian refugee crisis,” in an apparent response to Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil’s remarks at Saturday’s municipal conference.

In a statement released by her press office, Hassan said the Cabinet can “devise an integrated strategy that takes into consideration the decisions already taken by the Higher Defense Council, especially in terms of specifying the municipalities’ role in addressing this crisis.”

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Gemayel 'Not Afraid to Sleep in Chouf', Slams 'Sectarian Slogans'

Kataeb Party chief MP Sami Gemayel on Sunday stressed the importance of the Christian-Druze reconciliation during a visit to the Chouf region, as he blasted the rhetoric of the Free Patriotic Movement -- albeit without naming it.

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Jumblat, Wahhab Exchange Tirades over Dmit Clash

Progressive Socialist Party leader ex-MP Walid Jumblat and Arab Tawhid Party chief ex-minister Wiam Wahhab on Sunday traded jab over a clash involving Wahhab’s motorcade in the Chouf town of Dmit.

“I wish the Defense Ministry would reduce the number of firearms licenses granted to bodyguards and bullies and I wish the Interior Ministry would revoke the biggest number of permits for tinted-window vehicles in addition to hiking the tax on weapons,” Jumblat tweeted.

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