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Hariri Denies Delaying Govt. Formation, May Submit Line-Up 'Tomorrow'

Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri on Thursday denied that he is delaying the formation of the new government, revealing that he might submit a draft line-up to President Michel Aoun on Friday.

“I'm not neglecting the formation process but I have the right to have a vacation and I traveled to see my family. We have now 'pressed the turbo button' in order to form a government as soon as possible,” Hariri told reporters when asked about remarks by Speaker Nabih Berri.

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Berri Says Some Aim to ‘Distort’ Bekaa’s Image, Urges Aoun to Take Action

Speaker Nabih Berri on Wednesday urged President Michel Aoun to put the efforts needed in order to impose the State’s control in the cumbersome northern region of Bekaa, criticising years of “idleness” and attempts to “distort” its image.

“Our people in Bekaa need a State to carry its identity,” said Berri in a statement.

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LF Challenges Controversial Citizenship Decree

The Lebanese Forces on Wednesday filed an appeal before the State Shura Council protesting a controversial citizenship decree granting Lebanese nationality to foreigners.

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Aoun Meets Salameh, Affirms Monetary Stability

President Michel Aoun on Wednesday held talks with Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh at the Presidential Palace in Baabda who affimed that Lebanon is enjoying monetary stability, the State-run National News Agency reported.

"The Lebanese pound is stable, and Lebanon remains immune to crises," Salameh said.

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Kataeb Asks President to Revoke Nationality from ‘Unworthy’ Individuals

The Kataeb party on Wednesday called upon President Michel Aoun to withdraw the Lebanese nationality from “non-deserving” individuals under the new citizenship decree, and stressed the need for an effective plan to solve the controversial file of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

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Report: Security Plan Underway to Control Bekaa Chaos

Classic security plans are “no longer feasible” after the situation in the northern Bekaa region "deteriorated to unprecedented levels" where the Lebanese army prepares to implement a “strict security” plan, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Wednesday.

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Aoun Meets U.S. Bishops, Urges Facilitation of Refugees Return

The crisis of Syrian refugees in Lebanon was the focal point of discussion between President Michel Aoun and a delegation of U.S. Catholic Bishops at the Baabda Palace on Tuesday.

Aoun called upon the delegation to back Lebanon’s stance and urge the U.S. administration to facilitate the return of refugees. He pointed to obstacles created by some “foreign parties hampering Lebanon’s efforts to return the displaced.”

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Abi Khalil: Lebanon Shifts from Red to Green Diesel Usage

Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil announced on Tuesday that Lebanon will be shifting from the usage of red diesel to economically friendly green diesel, noting that he informed the Cabinet of this decision.

Abi Khalil’s remarks came at a press conference he held after meeting with representatives of oil and car import companies.

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Report: LF Signals ‘Publishing Maarab Agreement’ with FPM

A Lebanese Forces MP said the party is willing to “publish to media” their so-called Maarab agreement with the Free Patriotic Movement that brought President Michel Aoun to his post “shall the FPM disavow the accord,” al-Hayat daily reported on Monday.

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Report: Lebanon to Annul Decision on Passport Stamping for Iranians

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq will reportedly scrap a controversial decision allowing Iranian passengers to enter into Lebanon without having their passports stamped at the airport, media reports said on Tuesday.

Mashnouq plans to suspend the General Security Directorate step, arguing that “such decisions must be taken by the Cabinet.”

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