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Aoun Meets Putin's Special Envoy, Receives Invitation to Astana III

President Michel Aoun received at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, Russian President Vladimir Putin's special envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin, in the presence of Russian Ambassador Alexander Zaspkin and the accompanying diplomatic delegation, the National News Agency reported on Wednesday.

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Report: Key Appointments on Front Burner After Hariri’s Return from Abroad

The political authority is expected to tackle the controversial issue of key appointments in public administrations as soon as “PM Saad Hariri returns from a trip abroad on Thursday,” al-Joumhouria daily reported on Wednesday.

Topping the list of appointments is the General Prosecutor post, Judge Ghassan Oweidat is likely to be named for the position, and renewing the terms of vice governors at Banque du Liban except for the Druze seat.

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Report: French Defense Minister Expected in Beirut

Lebanese Ambassador to France, Rami Adwan revealed that French Defense Minister Florence Parly is expected to visit Lebanon at the end of June, the pan-Arab al-Hayat daily reported on Wednesday.

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Geagea Meets Hariri, Urges Aoun to 'Rein in' Bassil

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea held talks Tuesday evening with Prime Minister Saad Hariri at the Center House.

"We discussed the issue of the state budget and we are coordinating our stances with al-Mustaqbal Movement to the fullest extent," Geagea said after the meeting.

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Bassil Says Settlement with Hariri is 'Safety Net for Country, People'

Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil on Tuesday described his movement's understanding with Prime Minister Saad Hariri and al-Mustaqbal Movement as a “safety new for the country and the people,” in the wake of his Monday meeting with the premier.

Bassil “stressed the firmness of the understanding with al-Mustaqbal Movement and PM Saad Hariri, because it is the basis of the country's stability in the political, security, economic and financial fields,” the Strong Lebanon bloc said in a statement issued after its weekly meeting.

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Retired Servicemen to Block Key Facilities Wednesday, Vow 3-Day Escalation

A grouping of retired servicemen on Tuesday vowed a fresh round of escalation in protest at proposed salary cuts in the 2019 draft state budget.

“We are hearing conflicting remarks from the ministers: one of them promises something before another torpedoes the promise, which is creating a totally uncomfortable atmosphere,” retired Brig. Gen. George Nader told MTV.

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Khalil Lauds 'Full Govt. Solidarity' as Fneish Hails 'Excellent Session'

Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil on Tuesday lauded the government's “solidarity” during the first Cabinet session after the Eid al-Fitr holiday..

“There was full governmental solidarity today,” Khalil, who represents the AMAL Movement, said after the session.

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U.N. Special Coordinator Visits Army Regiments in Bekaa

U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Jan Kubis on Tuesday visited the 6th Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) Intervention Regiment and the Central Training Center for Border Management in Riyaq in eastern Lebanon as well as a watchtower of the 3rd Land Border Regiment and a LAF monitoring post at the eastern border.

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Russia's Syria Envoy in Lebanon for Talks with Top Officials

The Russian president's special envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev on Tuesday met with Speaker Nabih Berri in Ain el-Tineh at the beginning of a two-day official visit to Lebanon.

Lavrentiev is accompanied by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin and a diplomatic delegation.

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Hariri Presses for Ministerial Solidarity in Parliament during Budget Discussion

Prime Minister Saad Hariri chaired a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday where he highlighted Lebanon’s economic and financial concerns, urging the ministers to show solidarity and adhesion to the decisions they agreed to in the government's policy statement and the draft state budget.

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