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Report: Macron Refrains from Comments on Lebanon after Aoun Meeting

France does not want to be accused of “meddling” in Lebanon’s affairs which made French President Emmanuel Macron refrain from making a statement after his meeting with President Michel Aoun on Friday, amid dark prospects in light of a government deadlock, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Saturday.

According to information obtained by the daily, it said the meeting between the two men, on the sidelines of the Francophone Summit in Armenia, was “ordinary,” and that Macron has asserted support for Lebanon but was “frank and clear” it could lose grants allocated at the CEDRE conference if the government gridlock persists.

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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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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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Annahar Daily Issues Blank Edition to Protest Political Gridlock

The reputable Lebanese newspaper Annahar, issued a surprising blank edition of its paper on Thursday in a move described by its Editor-in-chief Nayla Tueini as a protest against the "deteriorating conditions in the country at all levels."

Tueini who held a televised press conference to explain the move, said that Lebanon “is facing one of the most dangerous stages of all times. The white pages of the daily is an expression towards the country's disastrous situation," she said.

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Judge Orders Investigation into ‘Leaked’ Names of Presidential Delegation to Armenia

State Prosecutor Judge Samir Hammoud has ordered investigations to look into who leaked the names of the delegation accompanying President Michel Aoun to Armenia where he is set to partake in the Francophonie Summit in Yerevan, the State-run National News Agency reported on Thursday.

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Report: FPM Rejects Accusations Blaming Bassil for Obstruction

The Free Patriotic Movement rejected accusations blaming its chief Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil of obstructing the formation of Lebanon’s government, saying his latest remarks have proven that “he wants to facilitate the formation process,” al-Joumhouria daily reported on Thursday.

“Anyone who looks well into Bassil’s latest remarks will know that they were meant to facilitate the formation,” FPM sources told the daily on condition of anonymity.

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Aoun Travels to Armenia to Attend Francophonie Summit

President Michel Aoun departed on Wednesday leading an official delegation to Armenia to partake in the 17th Summit of the International Organisation of la Francophonie (IOF) in Yerevan on October 11-12, the National News Agency reported on Wednesday.

The delegation included caretaker Minister of Culture Ghattas Khoury, caretaker Tourism Minister Avedis Kedanian and several other officials, NNA said.

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