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Kataeb Slams Govt. 'Inaction over Military, Economic Threats'

The Kataeb Party on Monday accused the government of inaction regarding perceived “military and economic threats.”

“How can the political authority stand idly by and how can the Cabinet refrain from holding an extraordinary or even a regular session to discuss the military and economic threats that Lebanon is facing as well as the latest regional and international developments?” Kataeb's political bureau asked in a statement issued after its weekly meeting in Saifi.

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UK Welcomes Hamade, Champions 'Commitment to Ensure All Children Go to School'

UK International Development Secretary Priti Patel welcomes Education Minister Marwan Hamade to London on Monday as she reaffirms the UK’s “leadership in ensuring all children in Lebanon including a generation of Syrian children who have fled to Lebanon have access to quality education,” the British Embassy said.

Hamade’s three-day visit follows the International Development Secretary’s own trip to Lebanon in February this year, when she saw first-hand how UK aid is “helping to deliver life-changing education for both Lebanese and Syrian refugee children,” the Embassy said in a statement.

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Hariri Ready to 'Work Together' with Hizbullah on 'Things that Can Serve Lebanon'

Prime Minister Saad Hariri has said that he has joined a coalition government with Hizbullah after he and the Iran-backed party “decided together to put aside” their differences and “work together on big or small things that can serve Lebanon.”

Asked about being in a government with a party accused of murdering his father, ex-PM Rafik Hariri, Hariri told Italy's La Repubblica newspaper that “this can be done in one way.”

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Israel Hits Syrian Anti-Aircraft Battery in Response to Fire on Jets over Lebanon

Israel's military carried out an air strike on an anti-aircraft battery in Syria on Monday after it fired toward its planes, while vowing it sought no further escalation in the war-torn country.

Israeli planes were on what the military described as a “routine reconnaissance mission” over Lebanon when an anti-aircraft missile was fired in their direction, a military spokesman said.

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Hariri Discusses Military and Economic Support to Lebanon with Italy PM

Prime Minister Saad Hariri met Monday in Rome with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and the talks focused on military and economic support for Lebanon.

“The meeting tackled the ongoing preparations for the Rome II Conference to support the Lebanese army and security forces, and the Paris Conference to support the Lebanese economy as well as Lebanon's request to lift Italian restrictions on Lebanese agricultural and industrial products,” Hariri's office said in a statement.

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Refugee Crisis Tops Aoun's Talks with UNSC Permanent Members

President Michel Aoun held talks Monday in Baabda with the envoys of France, China, Russia, the UK, the U.S., the EU, the Arab League and the U.N. and the meeting focused on the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on Lebanon.

Aoun, who called the meeting, stressed that the “return of the displaced to stable and safe areas in Syria must be done without linking the matter to a political solution in Syria.”

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Berri Says Staging Parliamentary Elections 'Inevitable'

As Lebanon's parliamentary elections loom closer, Speaker Nabih Berri stressed that staging the polls has become an “inevitable reality” and that they will be staged “on time,” al-Joumhouria daily reported on Monday.

“Parliamentary elections have become a reality and staging them on time is inevitable,” Berri was quoted by the daily as telling his visitors on Sunday.

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Bassil Lashes Out after Mashnouq Criticizes 'Erratic Foreign Policy'

Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil and Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq on Sunday traded jabs over Lebanon's foreign policy, which the latter described as “erratic.”

“Those who don't like our independent foreign policy are the ones who are subservient to foreign forces and those who are not used to living without submission,” Bassil said.

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Abu Faour Reacts after Bassil's Remarks on War Killings, Displacement

MP Wael Abu Faour of the Progressive Socialist Party snapped back Sunday at Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil over remarks by the latter about the killings and displacement that took place in Mount Lebanon during the civil war.

“Mount Lebanon's reconciliation is firm and more important than all parliamentary seats,” Abu Faour said during a municipal reconciliation in the Rashaya District town of Ain Harsha.

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Parties Reportedly Agree on 4-Point Plan to Face U.S. Pressure

Contacts and deliberations over the past few days have led to an agreement among the government parties to “keep the political arena immunized against the U.S. pressures and the developments that the region is witnessing,” a media report said.

“The current U.S. pressures are not new and we do not believe that they will achieve their objectives. The main political parties have taken a clear decision to immunize the country and not to create a climate of escalation that would affect political stability in the country,” a prominent political source told ad-Diyar newspaper in remarks published Sunday.

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