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Rahi: Hizbullah's Involvemnet in Syria Divided the Lebanese

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi stated that Hizbullah's involvement in the Syrian war has divided and embarrassed the Lebanese between those supporting the move and others opposing it.

“Hizbullah has engaged in the war in Syria without taking into consideration the State's dissociation policy. It has divided the Lebanese upon themselves, some supporting its step and others totally refusing it,” said al-Rahi in an interview on Sky News Arabia on Friday.

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Hariri Receives Estonian President

Prime Minister Saad Hariri received at the Center House on Friday the Estonian President, Kersti Kaljulaid, and the accompanying delegation, where the meeting focused on bilateral relations and the work of the Estonian contingent in the UNIFIL in south Lebanon, Hariri's media office said.

After the meeting, Kaljulaid said: “Estonia is the incoming rotating president of the European Union Council. It is important for us to get a feeling of the hopes and views of the Lebanese people about the possible developments in the region and how the international community, based on democratic values and freedoms, can help the Lebanese people achieve continuous economic growth, to solve the major issues that the country is facing in the context of refugees, and to secure peaceful development for the whole region”.

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Berri Says Wage Scale Listed on Parliament Agenda

After the Joint Parliamentary Committees finalized discussing the controversial wage scale file, Speaker Nabih Berri said the file will be included on the agenda of the parliament when it meets next Wednesday, the National News Agency reported on Friday.

The Speaker called the parliament to session at 10:30 next week to study and approve several draft laws and bills and it will include the wage scale, NNA said.

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Kaag Congratulates Lebanon on Military and Security Appointments

UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag welcomed the nomination of a new Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces and Director General of the Internal Security Forces, a UN statement said on Friday.

“This is an important step in ensuring the continuity and effectiveness of these important state institutions,” said the statement.

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Army Chief Vows Fight against Terrorism, Release of Abdcuted Servicemen

Newly-appointed Army Commander General Joseph Aoun assured on Friday that the army's efforts to fight terrorism will continue, and its endeavors to release the kidnapped servicemen will not stop.

Aoun's comments came in his Order of the Day on the occasion of his appointment as Army chief replacing General Jean Qahwaji, he said: “The new (presidential) term depends on the role of your institution to provide a comprehensive and sustainable security and stability, so be ready to continue the war against terrorism with all the power you have got.

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UN Report Says Escalated Hizbullah Rhetoric Increases War Risk with Israel

Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres denounced in a periodic report on the implementation of resolution 1701, the recent statements made by Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah against Israel, rejecting “deterrence” justifications which “increases the risk of tension and could lead to renewed war,” An Nahar daily reported on Friday.

The report encouraged President Michel Aoun to resume national dialogue among political parties until a defense strategy is agreed to remove weaponry from Hizbullah and other armed groups, according to the daily.

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Report: Kremlin Denies Plans to Target Hizbullah from Syria Airspace

The Kremlin denied on Thursday media reports alleging that Moscow has approved the launch of Israeli operations against Hizbullah from Syria's airspace, media reports said.

A spokesman on behalf of the Russian President, Dmitry Peskov, stressed that the issue has not been raised in the context of the Russian and Israeli communications, they said.

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Man Injured in Overnight Beddawi Clashes Succumbs to Wounds

A Palestinian man wounded during Wednesday's armed clashes in Tripoli's al-Beddawi Palestinian refugee camp in north Lebanon, has succumbed to his wounds, the National News Agency reported on Thursday.

NNA said the victim, identified as Nemr Sh., was wounded during an armed fight and transported to al-Qobbeh Hospital in Tripoli a day earlier has died on Thursday.

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Aoun to Visit Vatican, Meet Pope Francis

Following a tour he made where he visited several Arab and Gulf countries after his election in October, President Michel Aoun is expected to launch visits to European countries that will start in the Vatican for a meeting with Pope Francis, the National News Agency reported on Thursday.

The President will travel to the Vatican on March 15 and will hold the meeting with the Pope on March 16, NNA said.

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Lebanon Finalizes Military Appointments, Names New Army Chief

The cabinet convened in a regular meeting on Wednesday at the Presidential Palace and approved a list of security, military and judicial appointments, including the appointment of General Joseph Aoun as army commander.

President Michel Aoun chaired the meeting in the presence of PM Saad Hariri and the ministers.

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