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Suleiman Awarded Top Vatican Medal, Urges Maronite Parties to Shun 'Personal Interests'

Former president Michel Suleiman on Monday called on the Maronite political parties to put aside “personal interests” and put an end to the drawn-out presidential vacuum.

“I reiterate my call for all Maronite parties to put aside personal interests and elect a new president immediately,” Suleiman said during a ceremony at the Vatican, where he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of Pius IX.

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Bogdanov to Visit Lebanon in December, to Tackle Local, Regional Crises

Russian deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov is scheduled to pay a visit to Lebanon in December, announced the National News Agency on Monday.

It said that the Russian official will travel to Lebanon on December 5 where he will hold talks with various officials.

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Syrian Killed, Several Injured in Brief Clashes at Burj al-Barajneh Refugee Camp

A female Syrian refugee was killed and several were injured in clashes that erupted on Monday between two groups linked to Fatah movement at Burj al-Barajneh refugee camp in Beirut's southern suburbs.

The state-run National News Agency reported that the clashes broke out after the supporters of Mohammed Ghdeiyeh set on fire a motorcycle that belongs to Hekmat Akar, the leader of the second group.

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Change and Reform Calls for Preserving Coexistence, Implementing Constitution

The Change and Reform bloc held on Monday onto its proposal to allow the people to choose their "true" representatives, calling on the implementation of the constitution to preserve coexistence.

“The bloc made more than one initiative” to end the presidential deadlock and “return to the Lebanese in general and the Christians in particular their right to choose a president and have a good representation,” said MP Ibrahim Kanaan.

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Lebanon Seeks Francophone Support against Terrorists

Culture Minister Rony Araiji has said the Lebanese delegation at the Francophonie Summit, which will be held in Dakar this weekend, is planning to urge participants to reject terrorism in the closing statement.

In remarks to An Nahar daily, Araiji said he and Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil will discuss with the representatives of the participating states the threat of terrorism.

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Ain el-Hilweh Leadership to Investigate Mawlawi's Presence, Rejects Shaker's Statements

The Palestinian leadership at the southern Ain el-Hilweh refugee camp pledged to investigate the presence of Islamist fugitive Shadi al-Mawlawi and singer turned fugitive Islamist Fadel Shaker, fearing the occurrence of a war similar to Nahr al-Bared.

As Safir newspaper reported on Monday that contacts are ongoing between the Army intelligence and the Higher Palestinian leadership at Ain el-Hilweh over Shaker's recent statements and Mawlawi's reported presence in the camp.

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Lebanon to Host International Conference to Reject Terrorism, Encourage Dialogue

Adyan Foundation and the Lebanese American University will organize an international conference this week to discuss the role of religion in combating terrorism.

The two-day conference on “Religious and Political Values” will kick off at the Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand Hotel on Wednesday and will continue at the LAU campus in Jbeil.

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Report: Prisoners Swap Deal with Jihadists Reaches Breakthrough

Negotiations over the release of Lebanese soldiers and policemen abducted by jihadists, who briefly overran the northeastern border town of Arsal in August, reached a breakthrough, al-Liwaa newspaper reported on Monday.

According to the daily, the mediation carried out by the Qatari-appointed negotiator, Syrian Ahmed al-Khatib, succeeded in easing several complications.

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Salam Expresses Distress over Cabinet's Performance, Urges Rivals to Ease Crises

Prime Minister Tammam Salam criticized on Monday the performance of his cabinet, expressing hope that the political arch-foes would facilitate things instead of complicating them.

“The cabinet is exerting efforts to resolve the Syrian refugees and abducted servicemen crises,” Salam said in comments published in several local newspapers.

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Berri Says No 'Preconditions' for Hizbullah-Mustaqbal Dialogue but Saniora Calls for 'Framework'

Speaker Nabih Berri has said that both Hizbullah and al-Mustaqbal movement agreed not to have preconditions on their expected dialogue on the crises gripping the country.

“This issue has been settled and is now behind us,” local dailies published on Monday quoted Berri as saying.

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