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Khalil: Berri Won’t Partake in Arab Economic Summit

MP Anwar al-Khalil, a member of Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri's AMAL Movement, revealed on Friday that Berri is not going to participate in Beirut’s Economic and Social Development Summit.

In remarks he made to VDL radio (93.3), Khalil said the Speaker will not attend the summit: “Several state leaders have apologized for not being able to attend the summit, which is going to affect the attendance quality. The reasons are many, but the most important reason is that Lebanon still has no government.”

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Report: Hariri Prevents Bassil Letter to Abu el-Gheit on Syria

Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri has reportedly banned caretaker Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil from sending a letter to Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit requesting the return of Syria to the Arab League, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Friday.

According to the daily, Bassil has prepared the letter requesting Abul Gheit to call the Arab League for an “urgent extraordinary” meeting for the return of Syria to the council.

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Bassil Hits Back at Franjieh: 'Servile People are Stabbing Us in the Back'

Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil on Thursday lashed out at Marada Movement leader ex-MP Suleiman Franjieh without naming him.

“The difference has once again become clear between those who are independent and those who are servile,” Bassil tweeted.

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Hariri and Jumblat Discuss Political Developments, Govt.

Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri held talks Thursday evening with Progressive Socialist Party leader ex-MP Walid Jumblat at the Center House.

Jumblay was accompanied by his son MP Taymour Jumblat and the meeting was held in the presence of caretaker Culture Minister Ghattas Khoury, who is one of Hariri's close aides.

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Aoun: We Won't Leave Baabda or Allow Anyone to Seize Control of Lebanon

President Michel Aoun announced Thursday that he “will not allow anyone to seize control of Lebanon,” in a fiery speech during a lunch banquet.

Telling the attendees a fictional story about a little girl and her father, who was a ship captain, Aoun added: “Do not be afraid: we will not abandon the ship and we will rescue all those on board.”

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Army Finds Man who Crossed from Israel in Tyre

The Lebanese Army on Thursday announced the arrest of a man who became the subject of sensational media reports for several days after he crossed the border from Israel into Lebanon in mysterious circumstances.

“After continuous search operations by the army, a patrol from the Intelligence Directorate managed today to arrest the U.S. citizen Colin Emery after finding him hiding in one of Tyre's neighborhoods,” the army said in a statement.

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Abul Gheit Meets Aoun, Hails 'Successful' Economic Summit

Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit on Thursday expressed his “deep admiration” of the efforts that Lebanon has exerted to organize an Arab economic summit that kicks off Friday in Beirut, following controversy over the participation of some Arab countries in it.

Abul Gheit was speaking after talks with President Michel Aoun in Baabda.

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Ibrahim Says No Longer Involved in 'Govt. Initiative'

General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim announced Thursday that he is no longer part of a presidential initiative aimed at resolving the government formation deadlock.

Ibrahim voiced his remarks after talks in Ain el-Tineh with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.

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Economic Summit's Preparatory Session Kicks Off Today

A preparatory opening session for Beirut's Arab Economic and Social Development Summit will be held Thursday at the Phoenicia Hotel.

The public session will bring together Arab heads of states and senior representatives.

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Franjieh against Govt. Veto for Those who Want It 'against Rest of Christians'

Marada Movement chief ex-MP Suleiman Franjieh reiterated Thursday his rejection of granting President Michel Aoun and the Free Patriotic Movement 11 ministers in the new government, or what constitutes a so-called one-third-plus-one veto power.

“Hizbullah is clinging to the representation of the Consultative Gathering in the government and will not back down,” Franjieh tweeted.

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