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Nasrallah Calls Netanyahu's Claims a 'Farce', Says Iran, Syria Not Blocking Govt.

Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Friday dismissed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's claims about the presence of missile plants near Beirut airport as a “farce,” as he emphasized that Tehran and Damascus are not blocking the formation of the new government.

“Netanyahu's psychological warfare over the missiles was a farce,” said Nasrallah in a televised speech commemorating the late mother of slain Hizbullah commander Imad Mughniyeh.

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STL President Ends Working Visit to Lebanon

The President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), Judge Ivana Hrdličková, visited Beirut this week and met with Lebanese officials and counterparts to update them on the work of the Tribunal, STL said Friday.

“Hrdličková and Vice President Judge Ralph Riachi met with the Minister of Justice Salim Jreissati and the Prosecutor General Judge Samir Hammoud. They also met representatives of the diplomatic community in Lebanon,” an STL statement said.

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32 Rescued after UNIFIL Locates Missing Boat between Cyprus and Lebanon

The Maritime Task Force (MTF) of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) participated in a search and rescue operation at sea after receiving reports on Wednesday of a missing boat off the coast of Lebanon, the U.N. force said on Friday.

“UNIFIL was informed that a small boat, allegedly heading towards Cyprus, was missing. UNIFIL tasked its Maritime Force to locate the missing vessel. On 11 October at 1130 hrs, UNIFIL’s flagship, BRS Liberal, found a small white boat northwest of Beirut in the area of responsibility of Rescue Coordinator Center Beirut,” a UNIFIL statement said.

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Qabalan Says ‘Ruling Class’ Fighting over Oil ‘Spoils’

Grand Jaafarite Shiite Mufti Sheikh Ahmed Qabalan urged the “ruling class” in Lebanon to end wrangling over the country’s oil and gas wealth, asking them to focus instead on the people’s concerns and livelihood matters.

“It is painful to see the people in power trying to secretly put their hand on the oil wealth, while the country is passing through the most difficult circumstances. This wealth belongs to the people, it is their right and we warn against any attempts to steal it,” said Qabalan in a speech during Friday prayers.

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Aoun: Government Formation ‘a Lebanese Affair’

President Michel stressed on Friday after meeting French President Emmanuel Macron that the formation of Lebanon’s government is strictly a Lebanese affair, noting that his presence in Armenia is not meant to discuss the formation process.

“Forming a Lebanese government is strictly a Lebanese affair. I did not come to Armenia to discuss the government issue,” said Aoun after a closed-door meeting with Macron on the sidelines of the Francophonie Summit in Yerevan.

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Government 'Unlikely' to Be Formed Soon, Says Hizbullah

Hizbullah reportedly said a government is unlikely to be formed within the time limit pledged by PM-designate Saad Hariri in light of the obstacles hampering the process, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Friday.

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Report: All Eyes On Aoun-Macron Meeting in Yerevan

An anticipated meeting on Friday between President Michel Aoun and French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the Francophone Summit in Yerevan, draws attention as it highlights the future of loans pledged for Lebanon at the CEDRE conference, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Friday.

Sources of the official Lebanese delegation to Armenia, said the two men are to meet in a side hall of the building that hosts the Francophone Summit.

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Bassil: Govt. to be Formed when Aoun, Hariri Agree on Formation Standards

The new government will be formed when President Michel Aoun and PM-designate Saad Hariri agree on unified “formation standards,” Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil said on Thursday.

“Lebanon's government will be created in Lebanon when the president and the PM-designate agree on formation standards. Those who accept it can stay in it and those who don't want it can leave,” Bassil said in an interview with MTV.

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Jreissati Meets STL President, Urges Speedy Procedures

Caretaker Justice Minister Salim Jreissati held talks Thursday with visiting Special Tribunal for Lebanon President Judge Ivana Hrdličková.

The National News Agency said talks tackled “the course of the judicial phases that the tribunal has completed.”

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Aoun Welcomes Regional Francophone Office in Beirut, Calls for Coexistence

At the opening of the Francophone Summit in Armenia on Thursday, President Michel Aoun welcomed the organization's decision “to adopt Beirut as the headquarters of its regional office in the Middle East,” as he voiced calls for coexistence.

“The decision of the francophone organization choosing Beirut as the headquarters of its regional office in the Middle East is most welcome,” said Aoun at the 17th IOF Summit in Yerevan.

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