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Aoun: Extension Aimed to Stop a Change in Parliamentary Majority

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun said the extension of parliament’s mandate until June 2017 was aimed at preventing a change in the legislature's majority and revealed that dialogue with al-Mustaqbal movement on the presidential deadlock has stopped.

“The real reason behind the extension is to stop the current (parliamentary) majority from changing and consequently to control the presidential elections,” Aoun told As Safir newspaper in an interview published on Monday.

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Salam Claims 'Progress' on Hostage Crisis

Prime Minister Tammam Salam revealed there has been progress in the negotiations on the release of Lebanese soldiers and policemen taken captive by jihadists in August.

“There is progress but the issue is difficult, complicated and sensitive,” Salam told As Safir newspaper in remarks published on Monday.

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Mashnouq to Cairo to Purchase Egyptian-Made Military Equipment

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq headed a security delegation to Egypt on Sunday to purchase military equipment as part of the Saudi grant to the Lebanese army, the al-Joumhouria daily reported.

"The visit aims to purchase military equipment made in Egypt," for the benefit of the army "and to put efforts together in a bid to combat the spread of terrorism," the daily said on Monday.

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Man Went Missing in Arsal, He Is Likely Abducted by Extremists

A resident of Arsal went missing on Sunday, he was likely abducted by extremist groups into the outskirts of Arsal.

The National News Agency said: “Arsal resident, Abdul Karim Ahmed Humaid, went missing Saturday in Wadi Hmeid.”

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Army Arrests Head of FSA Command Council in Arsal

The army arrested at a checkpoint in Wadi Hmayed in Arsal, head of the Qalamun front and head of Free Syrian Army command council colonel Abdullah Rifai, while wandering in the outskirts of Arsal, with a fake Lebanese ID.

The National News Agency said that he was arrested, “while he was passing through a checkpoint in a GMC car, and he was undercover with a fake ID.”

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Qaouq: Hizbullah Intervention in Syria Enhanced Lebanese Strength

Deputy head of Hizbullah's Executive Council Sheikh Nabil Qaouq said on Sunday that Hizbullah's intervention in Syria is “a 100% Lebanese decision” and this decision “has enhanced the strength of Lebanon in countering extremist groups.”

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Army Raids Gathering for Syrian Refugees in Tyre, Arrests person

The army carried out a raid on Sunday on a gathering for Syria refugees in Tyre's al-Shawakeer area and arrested a person.

The National News Agency said: “Army troops including an engineering team, raided a gathering for Syrian refugees in Tyre's al-Shawakeer area in front of Basel al-Assad cultural center.”

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Al-Rahi Urges Civil Society to Reunite People Away from Political Bickering

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi accused on Sunday politicians of creating divisions among the people, blaming it for the “fragmentation of society.”

He therefore urged during his Sunday sermon officials from the civil society to “work on reuniting the people, in cooperation with schools and universities, away from political divisions and affiliations.”

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Mazloum: Muslims May Elect President if Christians Cannot Settle their Disputes

Bishop Samir Mazloum reiterated the anger of Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi against lawmakers for extending their own term and failing to elect a new president, reported the Kuwaiti daily al-Seyassah on Sunday.

He told the daily: “Should the disputes between the Christian parties persist, our partners in Lebanon, meaning the Muslims, may resort to resolving the presidential deadlock themselves.”

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Report: Qahwaji's Chances of Becoming President Increase after Saudi Visit

The chances of Army chief General Jean Qahwaji of becoming president have increased with his recent visit to Saudi Arabia, reported the Kuwaiti daily al-Seyassah on Sunday.

Arab diplomatic sources told the daily that his visit to the kingdom, where a number of French officials were present, to sign the Saudi grant to the Lebanese army “opened the last blocked doors to his election as president.”

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