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Report: Hizbullah to Convince Aoun to Accept Franjieh's Nomination

Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh is scheduled to hold talks on Wednesday with Change and Reform bloc head MP Michel Aoun, reported An Nahar daily on Tuesday.

A prominent ministerial source told the daily that the talks will kick off efforts by Hizbullah to persuade its ally, Aoun, to accept Franjieh's potential presidential nomination.

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Report: Al-Rahi Says Syrian Officials 'Have Reservations' over Franjieh's Nomination

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi returned to Lebanon from a pastoral visit to Syria on Monday, where he also discussed the presidential elections, reported al-Joumhouria on Tuesday.

It said that Syrian officials expressed to the patriarch their “reservations” over the potential nomination of Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh as president.

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FPM Official Says Franjieh Can't 'Bypass' Other Maronite Leaders

Free Patriotic Movement official Mario Aoun stressed Monday that Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh cannot “bypass” the other three Maronite leaders in the country in order to reach the Baabda Palace, urging “corrective steps” from Franjieh regarding his ties with Change and Reform bloc chief MP Michel Aoun.

“General Michel Aoun is an essential and key candidate and he has not yet said that he has ceased to be a presidential nominee,” the FPM official told al-Jadeed television.

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Al-Rahi Says Has Invited Maronite Leaders to Bkirki Meeting

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi revealed Monday that he has invited the country's top four Maronite leaders to a meeting in Bkirki and that he is “still awaiting answers” from them.

He voiced his remarks to LBCI television during a pastoral visit to the coastal Syrian city of Tartus.

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Crisis Cell Vows Efforts to Free IS-held Captives as Abou Faour Meets Families

A ministerial crisis cell pledged Monday to exert “efforts in all directions” to secure the release of nine Lebanese servicemen held hostage by the extremist Islamic State group, several days after 16 Lebanese troops and policemen were freed in a swap deal between Lebanon and the Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front.

The statement was issued after a Grand Serail meeting that was chaired by Prime Minister Tammam Salam and attended by Deputy PM and Defense Minister Samir Moqbel, Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq, Health Minister Wael Abou Faour and General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim.

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STL Hosts French Minister of Justice

French Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira paid a courtesy visit to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on Monday, as part of her one-day visit to the Netherlands that included discussions with Dutch officials.

She was accompanied by the French Ambassador to the Netherlands, Laurent Pic, and a delegation from the Ministry of Justice, the STL said in a statement.

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Shehayyeb Meets Franjieh, Says Communication Can Dissipate Objections over His Nomination

Agriculture Minister Akram Shehayyeb held talks Monday with Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh in Bnashii and noted that “communication” among the various parties can dissipate the objections that surfaced in recent days over the latter's presidential nomination.

The visit had been scheduled “prior to the issue of the presidency and the seriousness of the settlement,” Shehayyeb said after the talks, noting that he was in Zgharta for a Middle East Airlines-sponsored forestation project.

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Al-Rahi Urges Dialogue to End War on 2nd Day of Syria Visit

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi on Monday called for "dialogue" among the warring parties in Syria as he urged Christians there to cling to their land and heritage despite the bloody conflict.

“War can only stop through a good will for peace that would push all rivals to sit around a dialogue table,” said al-Rahi during a pastoral tour in the coastal Syrian city of Tartus, a bastion of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.

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Two IS Militants who Plotted Attacks in Lebanon Arrested

Security forces announced Monday the arrest of two Islamic State jihadists who had plotted to carry out attacks inside Lebanon.

“The fugitive Jihad Ahmed al-Ghazi was arrested by the Intelligence Directorate in the North over his ties to terrorist groups led by the fugitives Mohammed Ahmed al-Satem, Oday Ahmed al-Moussa and others who move between Lebanon and Syria,” the army said in a statement.

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LF and Mustaqbal Request Supporters to Stop War of Words

The Lebanese Forces General Secretariat and the al-Mustaqbal movement are trying to mend the rift that emerged against the backdrop of the latest presidential nominations, and have therefore asked on Monday their supporters to stop the war of words on social media.

The General Secretariat of the Lebanese forces issued a circular asking its supporters to abstain from venting their anger against the nomination of MP Suleiman Franjieh on social media.

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