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Safadi Stresses Bilateral Ties with Cyprus, Lebanon’s Right to Defend its Maritime Border

Finance Minister Mohammed al-Safadi stressed the bilateral ties between Lebanon and Cyprus during an official visit to the capital Nicosia, reiterating Lebanon’s will to defend its maritime border, the National News Agency reported on Thursday.

“The relations are based on mutual respect, interest, and the will to implement world peace, especially in the Mediterranean,” Safadi said at the end of his visit to Cyprus.

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UNIFIL Conducts Patrols at Wazzani after Israeli Soldiers Crossed Electronic Fence

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon conducted patrols along the Blue Line at the Wazzani-Ghajar area on Thursday after an Israeli army unit crossed the electronic fence and advanced towards the banks of the Wazzani River.

UNIFIL’s Spanish contingent intensified its patrols in the area and monitored the movement of Israeli troops on the other side of the border, the state-run National News Agency reported.

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Miqati Says Decision on Leasing Power-Generating Vessels Pending

Prime Minister Najib Miqati refuted reports that he is seeking to reject the leasing of power-generating vessels to end the country’s lingering electricity crisis, local newspapers reported on Thursday.

Miqati informed ministers during a cabinet session held at the Grand Serail on Wednesday that the decision hasn’t been made yet, saying that it all depends on the committee tasked with finding a solution to Lebanon's electricity sector, according to An Nahar newspaper.

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Government ‘Reminds’ Diplomats of Vienna Convention

The cabinet “reminded” foreign diplomats on Wednesday to respect the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations after Hizbullah ministers Mohammed Fneish and Hussein al-Hajj Hassan accused U.S. Ambassador Maura Connelly of interfering in Lebanon’s internal affairs.

Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, who is loyal to Speaker Nabih Berri, also urged the government to clarify its stance that Lebanon’s sovereignty should be respected.

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Report: Security Forces Release 7 Armed Syrians Detained in Bekaa

The Lebanese security services released seven Syrians, who were allegedly accused of the possession of arms, of using them in Lebanese territories and injuring a Lebanese soldier, the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat reported on Thursday.

According to security sources, the armed men were not handed to the General Security Department so that they could be handed over to the Syrian authorities for crossing illegally into Lebanon.

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Cabinet to Resolve Administrative Appointments during Friday’s Session

The cabinet that is scheduled to convene on Friday has on its agenda the controversial appointments of top civil servants, local newspapers reported.

Informed sources told al-Liwaa newspaper on Thursday that the meeting at the Baabda Palace will tackle administrative appointments, ruling out the discussion of the appointment of the head of the Higher Judicial Council.

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Israeli Troops Cross Fence, Deploy Briefly on Wazzani Bank

An Israeli force comprising 10 troops on Wednesday left its military post in the occupied town of Ghajar and advanced towards the recreational parks on the bank of the Wazzani River in Lebanese territory, Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency reported.

“The force crossed the electronic fence and stationed itself in the area located between the fence and the virtual Blue Line,” NNA said.

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25 Tons of Spoiled Meat Seized in Tariq Jedideh

The Ministry of Economy’s Consumer Protection Directorate on Wednesday seized 25 tons of spoiled meat in the Beirut district of Tariq Jedideh.

“The raid unveiled the presence of 25 tons of expired meat at a commercial company in Tariq Jedideh,” Directorate chief Fouad Flaifel told Al-Jadeed television.

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Mansour Rejects Call for Protecting Syrian Rebels, Defense Council to Meet Thursday

Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour on Wednesday voiced rejection of a call by U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly for the Lebanese authorities to provide protection for the members of the rebel Free Syrian Army who flee to Lebanon, as President Michel Suleiman called the Higher Defense Council to convene on Thursday to discuss the latest developments related to the Lebanese-Syrian border.

“Lebanon cannot heed such a request; it rather acts according to its interest, security situation and capabilities, and we cannot provide support to armed elements stationed in the Lebanese territory,” Mansour said in an interview on Al-Manar television.

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Saniora: Those Calling for Freedom in Lebanon Can't Do so while Supporting Syrian Regime

Former Prime Minister Fouad Saniora noted on Wednesday that some sides in Lebanon who are accusing others of meddling in the Syrian crisis are in fact guilty of these charges.

He said: “Those calling for the freedom in Lebanon cannot do so while simultaneously supporting the Syrian regime.”

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