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Iraqi President Surprises Aoun with Birthday Cake

Iraqi President Fouad Massum surprised President Michel Aoun with a birthday cake during the Lebanese leader's official visit to Baghdad on Tuesday.

The surprise came at the end of a lunch banquet.

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Yaacoub Meets Rahi: Saudi Arabia Will Always Back Lebanon's Legitimacy

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi met with Saudi ambassador to Lebanon Walid al-Yaacoub in Bkirki on a protocol visit after receiving his duties, the National News Agency reported on Tuesday.

“I was honored to meet His Eminence the Patriarch who affirmed that links between Saudi Arabia and religious and spiritual officials in Lebanon are profound and fundamental,” said al-Yaacoub after the meeting.

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Aoun Meets Iraqi President, Premier in Baghdad

President Michel Aoun traveled on an official two-day visit to Iraq on Tuesday at the invitation of his Iraqi counterpart Mohammed Fouad Masum.

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French Envoy in Beirut in Preparation for Paris IV Investment Conference

French envoy Pierre Duquesne in charge of ongoing preparations for the Paris IV investment conference aimed at jumpstarting Lebanon's economy has arrived in Beirut, media reports said on Tuesday.

Duquesne is the interministerial delegate for the Mediterranean in charge of the preparations of Paris IV, also referred to as the Cedar Conference, which is set to be held on April 5 in the French capital.

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Tashnag Says No Vetoes on FPM-Murr Electoral Alliance

A meeting was held Monday at the headquarters of the Tashnag Party in Bourj Hammoud to discuss the electoral alliances in the Metn district.

The National News Agency said the meeting was attended by Tourism Minister Avedis Guidanian of Tashnag, independent MP Michel Murr, ex-minister Elias Bou Saab of the Free Patriotic Movement, Tashnag Secretary-General MP Hagop Pakradounian and the FPM's candidate for Metn Eddie Maalouf.

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UK Minister Meets Mashnouq, Stresses Support for Lebanon Stability

British interior minister Amber Rudd stressed Monday her government's continued support for Lebanon's stability during talks in Beirut with Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq.

Underlining keenness on security in Lebanon, Rudd lauded the ministry's preparations for the upcoming parliamentary elections and listened to a briefing from Mashnouq about the logistic and administrative mobilization.

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Jumblat Holds Talks with Emir of Kuwait

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat held talks Monday in Kuwait with the Gulf emirate's ruler Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah.

A statement issued by the PSP's press office said discussions tackled the situations in the region.

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Berri Announces AMAL Candidates for Elections, Stresses Adherence to Constitution, National Pact

Speaker Nabih Berri announced in a press conference on Monday the names of the AMAL Movement candidates that will be running in the parliamentary elections, urging commitment to forthcoming electoral lists that will be gathering AMAL, Hizbullah and other allies.

Berri said the AMAL Movement's program is based on commitment to the Constitution and the Taef Agreement. “Committing to the Constitution and the National Pact is our foremost choice,” he stressed.

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Cabinet Forms Hariri-Led Panel to Finalize Budget

The Cabinet on Monday formed a ministerial panel headed by Prime Minister Saad Hariri and tasked with "studying the budget figures and returning to the Council of Ministers with final suggestions."

The Cabinet meeting was presided over by President Michel Aoun at the Presidential Palace in Baabda. It was dedicated to discussing the State's 2018 budget.

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EDL Contract Workers Scuffle with Police

A violent brawl erupted on Monday between protesting Electricite du Liban contract workers and anti-riot police who prevented them from accessing the company's premises in Nahr Ibrahim area.

The angry protesters have gathered outside the premises in solidarity with EDL contract worker Hassan Akel who was slapped in the face by a Security Forces officer during a protest last week.

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