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U.S. Commander Meets Aoun, Stresses 'Strong Partnership' between Two Armies

General Kenneth McKenzie, Commander of the United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), conducted a one-day visit to Lebanon on July 8, 2020, the U.S. embassy said. 

McKenzie met with President Michel Aoun at Baabda Palace, where he “reaffirmed the importance of preserving Lebanon’s security, stability, and sovereignty, and underscored the importance of the strong partnership between the United States and the Lebanese Armed Forces,” the embassy said in a statement.

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Hariri Meets Aude, Says Not Seeking to Return as PM

Ex-PM Saad Hariri held talks Wednesday with Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Beirut Elias Aude after which he reiterated that he is not seeking to return to the PM post.

“I wanted to visit His Eminence, Metropolitan Aude so that we work anew for the capital Beirut and we have rejected all calls for dividing the capital and Lebanon,” Hariri said after the meeting.

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Kassim Tajideen Arrives in Beirut after U.S. Releases Him

A Lebanese businessman serving a five-year sentence in the United States for allegedly providing millions of dollars to Hizbullah arrived Wednesday in Beirut after his early release, local media reported.

Kassim Tajideen was sentenced last year in a federal court in Washington for his alleged role in a money laundering conspiracy aimed at evading U.S. sanctions. He was arrested in Morocco and extradited to the U.S. in 2017, where he was he was charged with laundering money for Hizbullah.

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Scuffles as Protesters Slam U.S. Commander's Visit to Lebanon

A rally was held Wednesday morning near Beirut’s airport in protest at the visit of the U.S. army's Central Command chief to Lebanon, the National News Agency said.

Al-Jadeed television said scuffles erupted between Lebanese troops and the demonstrators. It did not elaborate.

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Berri Says No One Can Alter His Rapprochement with Bassil

The meeting between Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil last week was a “foundational meeting,” a media report said.

In remarks to al-Joumhouria newspaper published Wednesday, Berri said he and Bassil will not allow anyone to undermine their new rapprochement.

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Bassil Says Govt. May Not Stay if Current Performance Continues

Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil has suggested that Hassan Diab’s government might be changed in the near future.

“We do not accept this approach of low productivity which we have witnessed recently,” Bassil said in an interview.

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Nasrallah to U.S.: Your Policy Won't Weaken Hizbullah but Rather Your Allies, Influence

Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah addressed the U.S. on Tuesday by saying that its "policy of siege and sanctions against Lebanon" will not weaken his group but rather Washington's "allies and influence" in the country.

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BDL Subsidizes 300 Items, Wants to 'Unify All Exchange Rates'

An agreement has been reached between a number of ministries and the central bank on subsidizing 300 items of essential foodstuffs and raw material.

Speaking at a press conference at the Grand Serail alongside ministers and Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh, Economy Minister Raoul Nehme said the central bank will subsidize the items at an exchange rate of LBP 3,900.

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Mustaqbal: Suggestions Hariri Wants to Return as PM Aimed at Disinformation

Al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc on Tuesday noted that claims that ex-PM Saad Hariri is seeking to return as premier are aimed at misleading the public opinion and deviating attention.

“Officials close to the Presidency and the government are talking in their meetings about a need to change the government and at the same time they are suggesting that ex-PM Saad Hariri is seeking to return to the premier post,” said the bloc in a statement issued after its weekly meeting.

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Berri Vows to Prevent 'Crime' against Bank Depositors

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Tuesday warned against putting the burden of the financial crisis on the shoulders of bank depositors.

“Placing the burden of the financial crisis on the shoulders of Lebanese depositors is an attempt to evade reality and it is a crime that we will not allow anyone to commit,” said Berri in a meeting with a delegation from the Economic Committees led by ex-minister Mohammed Choucair.

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