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Khalil: Three Budget Priorities to Achieve Goal

Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil affirms “perseverance to follow an approach that develops a balanced and reformative budget that includes reduced figures for the deficit we suffer,” al-Joumhouria daily reported on Thursday.

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Lebanese Man Facing Deportation for 2004 Crime Gets Pardon Hearing

An auto shop owner facing deportation to Lebanon for crimes committed 14 years ago asked state officials for a pardon Wednesday, saying he doesn't want to again be torn away from everything he loves.

Alain Ata, 34, came to the U.S. with his family at age 10. He spent several years in prison for a pair of burglaries in December 2004, and is seeking a pardon to remain in the country.

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Kanaan Holds 'Good' Congress Meetings, Downplays Sanctions Talk

MP Ibrahim Kanaan, the head of the Lebanese finance parliamentary committee, announced Wednesday that he held “good and constructive” talks with U.S. officials.

“Building the state and its institutions is what leads to political stability and not sanctions,” Kanaan told MTV after meeting U.S. lawmaker Eliot Engel at the U.S. Congress.

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Nasrallah Says U.S. Steps Won't Remain without Response, Calls Berri Reports 'Mere Intimidation'

Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Wednesday warned that the U.S. sanctions and measures against Iran and its allies in the region “will not remain without a response,” as he dismissed reports about possible sanctions against Speaker Nabih Berri and other Hizbullah allies as “mere intimidation.”

“Our choices are open but we will act calmly, with a cool head and at the right time, in all battlefields and arenas,” Nasrallah said in a televised address marking Hizbullah's 'Day of the Wounded'.

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Gemayel: Syrian Refugees Pose Existential Threat

Kataeb Party chief MP Sami Gemayel warned Wednesday that the Syrian refugees have started to pose an “existential threat” to Lebanon.

“Syrian refugees in Lebanon now represent around half the country's population after their numbers surpassed 1.5 million, which poses an existential threat to Lebanon in addition to the social and economic threats,” Gemayel cautioned in a speech before the general assembly of the European People's Party in Brussels.

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Trilateral Meeting between Foreign Ministers of Lebanon, Greece, Cyprus

A trilateral meeting was held on Wednesday at Lebanon’s foreign ministry between Foreign Ministers of Lebanon, Greece and Cyprus.

Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil met with his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides and Greek minister Giorgos Katrougalos where discussions focused on “laying the foundation for improving cooperation in the sectors of tourism, education, economy, trade and energy.”

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Aoun Meets Cypriot FM, Requests Support to Return Refugees

President Michel Aoun expressed his hope that the tripartite meeting held on Wednesday between foreign ministers of Lebanon, Cyprus and Greece constitutes a “positive beginning for cooperation between the three countries for the benefit of their people and economy,” the National News Agency reported.

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Parliament Holds Accountability Session

An accountability session chaired by Speaker Nabih Berri and in the presence of PM Saad Hariri and ministers was held at the Parliament on Wednesday with 13 questions listed on the agenda.

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Report: Parliament Holds Q&A Session, State Budget on Front Burner

A question and answer session will be held at the parliament on Wednesday to question the government performance, and the country’s 2019 State Budget will be discussed by Cabinet before passing it to Parliament for approval, media reports said.

The Q&A session can become an “interrogation if the government’s answers turn unconvincing,” said the reports.

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Lebanon Fears for Future of Disputed Territory with Israel

Lebanon has voiced fears that the U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights undermines Lebanon’s claim to disputed territory also annexed by Israel.

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