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Hollande Urges Backing for Lebanese Army as Bassil Calls for Eliminating ISIL at Paris Conference

French President Francois Hollande highlighted on Monday the need to preserve Lebanon's unity and sovereignty, while emphasizing the role of the army in protecting the country.

He stressed the importance of supporting the Lebanese army and properly equipping it.

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Jumblat: West Should Not Forget Lebanon in its Battle against Terrorism

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat noted on Monday that Lebanon is carrying a “major burden” in combating terrorism, which should lead to providing it with proper military and logistic support.

He said in his weekly editorial in the PSP-affiliated al-Anbaa website: “The West should not forget Lebanon in its plan to combat terrorism.”

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Major Power Outage Hits Lebanon as EDL Crisis Looms

A major power cut hit Lebanon on Monday from its south to north, including the capital Beirut, without an immediate explanation for the blackout.

According to the state-run National News Agency, the power outage hit all the Lebanese areas and Beirut at 9:20 am.

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Palestinian Businessman Abducted in Baalbek

Unknown assailants kidnapped at dawn Monday a Palestinian businessman in the eastern district of Baalbek, the state-run National News Agency reported.

NNA said that the kidnappers abducted Mohammed Khaled Ismail, a Palestinian expatriate in Denmark, near his residence in the town of Douris.

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Mashnouq Warns: Situation in Arsal Could Degrade with the Onset of Winter

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq warned on Monday of the dangerous situation in the northeastern border town of Arsal with the onset of winter as gunmen would have to leave their positions on the outskirts either back into Syria or would enter the village.

“If the jihadists decided to advance into Arsal at the beginning of winter new clashes would erupt with the Lebanese army,” Mashnouq said in an interview with the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat.

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Bou Saad Says FPM Not Impeding Parliamentary Polls, Lashes Out at Critics

Education Minister Elias Bou Saab stressed on Monday that the Free Patriotic Movement is seeking to facilitate the staging of the parliamentary elections, revealing that he will run in the polls.

“We reject the extension of the legislature's term,” Bou Saab said in comments published in al-Joumhouria newspaper.

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Hat Trick: Berri Compares Parliamentary Polls to Rabbit

Speaker Nabih Berri has denied that he could make a magic trick to resolve the crisis on the parliamentary elections but compared the polls to the rabbit that would be pulled out of an empty hat.

“I think the parliamentary elections are the rabbit” that would come out of the magician's hat, Berri said.

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Report: Aoun's Presidency Hopes High, to Visit Jumblat

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun's chances to reach the presidency post still exist, al-Liwaa newspaper reported on Monday.

The daily reported that Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil, Aoun's son-in-law, with his Saudi and U.S. counterparts in Jeddah last week the ongoing presidential deadlock in Lebanon.

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Police: Jezzine Cell Plotted to Free Asir's Jailed Supporters

Security forces are questioning several suspects who were arrested in the southern district of Jezzine on suspicion of plotting to free Islamist prisoners loyal to Salafist cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Asir, al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Monday.

The daily said that the cell was planning to attack the Jezzine prison to free the inmates who were arrested during and after clashes between gunmen loyal to al-Asir and the Lebanese army in June 2013.

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Qatari Delegation in Beirut on Tuesday as Ibrahim Cites Progress

A Qatari delegation is expected to arrive on Tuesday in Lebanon after a short one-day visit to Doha by a Lebanese delegation headed by Prime Minister Tammam Salam.

The delegation, according to An Nahar newspaper, is set to follow up the case of the Lebanese soldiers and policemen abducted by jihadists.

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