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Report: Hariri Vows to al-Rahi to Hold Presidential Elections after Parliament's Extension

Head of the Mustaqbal Movement MP Saad Hariri highlighted to Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi the need to extend parliament's term given the failure to elect a new president, explaining that Lebanon will be faced with vacuum in these two state institutions if the extension does not take place, reported the daily An Nahar on Saturday.

Hariri pledged to al-Rahi that he will “not back down from staging the presidential elections after the extension.”

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Arms, Explosive Ammunition Found near General Ibrahim's House

A large quantity of arms and explosive ammunition was found on Friday evening near the house of General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim in the southern town of Kawthariyat al-Siyyad.

“Members of the General Security intelligence department in the South discovered a large quantity of arms, ammunition and explosive material that were packed in nylon bags and distributed in three areas near rocks, in the vicinity of … Ibrahim's house in Kawthariyat al-Siyyad,” state-run National News Agency reported.

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Mashnouq, Derbas Reject Self-Security, Urge Bigger Municipal Police Role

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq and Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas categorically rejected on Friday all calls for self-security in the face of the growing security concerns in the country, urging a bigger security role for municipalities.

“A lot of parties have spread rumors and calls for self-security as an excuse to take up arms,” Mashnouq said at a seminar on the role of municipalities which was organized by the Kataeb Party.

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Gemayel Urges Controlling Refugee Presence 'before It's Too Late'

Kataeb Party leader Amin Gemayel on Friday called for urgent measures to control the presence of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and count their numbers, suggesting the recruitment of new municipal police members who would contribute to protecting towns and villages.

“We are largely counting on the role of local authorities and municipalities amid the current circumstances in the country and in the face of all the threats that Lebanon is facing,” said Gemayel at a Kataeb-organized seminar on the role of municipalities.

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Qassem Says 'Snow, IS, Nusra' Can't Affect Hizbullah Fighters on Border

Hizbullah deputy chief Sheikh Naim Qassem on Friday emphasized that his party's situation is “solid” on Lebanon's southern and eastern borders, stressing that it “cannot be shaken by storms, snow, ISIL or al-Nusra” Front.

“I do not at all fear this 'noise' that is called ISIL (Islamic State group) or al-Nusra or anyone who follows them, and the reason is that they do not represent Islam in any way whatsoever,” Qassem said during an educational ceremony.

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U.N. Envoy Meets Saniora, Reiterates Importance of Stability in Lebanon

United Nations Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura continued on Friday his tour on Lebanese officials on his second day of visit to Lebanon, stressing the international community's determination to maintain stability in the country.

The U.N. official discussed with head of al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc Fouad Saniora the general situation in Lebanon and the region.

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Jumblat Holds 'Frank' Talks with Geagea but 'Nothing New' in Presidency Issue

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat on Friday reiterated his support for his presidential nominee MP Henri Helou as Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea announced that there is “nothing new” in the issue of the stalled presidential vote.

“Talks were frank and positive ... and there were points of agreement and contention, but in the end we only have the choice of dialogue,” Jumblat said following talks with Geagea in Maarab.

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Moqbel to Discuss with Iranian Officials Military Assistance despite Veto

Defense Minister Samir Moqbel is expected to discuss with Iranian officials in Tehran over the weekend a recent pledge to give military assistance to Lebanon to help its fight against extremists.

Moqbel is not entitled to sign any agreement or make any commitment to the Iranian grant, As Safir daily reported on Friday.

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Report: Aoun Slams Talks on Presidential Elections, Refuses to Back Down

Head of the Free Patriotic Movement MP Michel Aoun slammed on Friday consultations between al-Mustaqbal movement chief Saad Hariri and Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi over the names of the presidential candidates.

“They can talk as much as they want... I will not withdraw my candidacy and I will never back down,” Aoun's visitors quoted him as saying in comments published in As Safir newspaper.

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Report: Nasrallah in Military Fatigues during Visit to Party Fighters on Border with Syria

Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has reportedly visited his party's fighters on the Lebanese-Syrian border dressed in military fatigues in a strong show of support.

Al-Liwaa newspaper said Friday that Nasrallah met the fighters in their posts after he visited some families in the eastern Bekaa Valley to extend condolences to the party members who were killed in battles with extremist groups.

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