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UNIFIL in Contact with Army over Hizbullah Armed Appearance near Border

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) said Friday that contacts were underway with the Lebanese army following media reports about the presence of Hizbullah gunmen during the media tour organized Thursday by Hizbullah along the border with Israel.

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U.N. Coordinator Lauds Hariri's Southern Tour, Says 'Reflects Continued Partnership'

U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag on Friday welcomed a visit to the South by Prime Minister Saad Hariri, saying it “reflects the continued partnership” between Lebanon and the U.N.

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Geagea Likens Attacks on Khan Sheikhun, Shiite Evacuees to Armenian Genocide, Says LF 'Daughter of Bashir, March 14'

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on Friday described the suspected chemical attack in Syria's Idlib and the deadly bombing that hit Shiite Syrian evacuees as a continuation of the massacres that started with the April 1915 genocide of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire.

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UNIFIL Head Lauds Hariri for Reaffirming Lebanon Commitment to 1701

UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary on Friday commended Prime Minister Saad Hariri for reaffirming Lebanon’s commitment to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 and a permanent ceasefire.

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Israeli General Downplays Hizbullah Border Tour

The head of the Israeli army's strategic division has said that Hizbullah's border show of force on Thursday was "more blunt" than usual, but that the group's "violations" of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 were “nothing new.”

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Aridi from Bkirki: PSP to Declare Law Format on Saturday

Progressive Socialist Party MP Ghazi al-Aridi announced that the party will declare on Saturday a new electoral law format that “ensures partnership,” the National News Agency reported Friday.

Aridi, dispatched by PSP leader Walid Jumblat, spoke from Bkirki after meeting with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi, he said: “The PSP will declare a new format on Saturday.”

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Hariri Affirms Commitment to Resolution 1701, Says Army 'Legitimate' Force to Defend Border

Prime Minister Saad Hariri during a visit to south of Lebanon on Friday affirmed commitment to UN resolution 1701 and stressed that the Lebanese army is the sole legitimate force entitled to defend the country's border.

“We thank our troops and tell them that they are, and only they, are the legitimate force in charge of defending our border,” Hariri told reporters.

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Gemayel: Hizbullah's Border Tour Tarnished State's Image

Kataeb party leader Sami Gemayel said a tour organized for reporters by Hizbullah along Lebanon's southern border to brief them about the defense measures set up by Israel in recent months “has insulted and tarnished the image of the State," media reports said.

“The tour organized by Hizbullah's military command along a border area under resolution 1701--which stipulates that the region should be free of any military force other than UNIFIL and the Lebanese army-- is considered an insult to the Lebanese State's standing and a new threat to Lebanon's relationship with the international community,” said Gemayel.

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Report: Hizbullah's Border Tour 'Three-Dimensional' Challenge

A tour organized by Hizbullah for reporters along Lebanon's southern border to brief them about the defense measures that Israel has set up in recent months, was highly criticized by several parties with some describing it as a challenge, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Friday.

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Report: Salameh's Term is Likely to be Renewed

The majority of Lebanon's political parties have agreed on the renewal of the term of Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh, and the debate is focusing on whether the renewal will be for three or six years, al-Akhbar daily reported on Friday.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Speaker Nabih Berri, MP Walid Jumblat, Hizbullah and the majority of the political forces said they support an extension of Salameh's term, unnamed sources told the daily.

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