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Al-Rahi Meets Aoun, Says No Imminent Bassil-Geagea Meeting

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi stressed Tuesday that internal unity is a priority as he rejected “bilateral alliances” and announced that Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea will not be meeting Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil anytime soon.

“What we care about is internal Lebanese unity... and all Lebanese must reconcile for the sake of their unity,” al-Rahi said after talks with President Michel Aoun in Baabda.

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Kaag Meets Aoun, Says Lebanon Can Play Key Role in Region, Syria

Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag held talks Monday in Baabda with President Michel Aoun and noted that Lebanon can play a key role in the region and in Syria's rebuilding process.

Kaag served as the U.N. special coordinator for Lebanon from January 2015 until October 2017.

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Geagea Says LF Won't Quit Govt., Urges Hizbullah Withdrawal from Regional Crises

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea announced Monday that the LF's three ministers will not resign from Prime Minister Saad Hariri's government, as he reiterated his call for Hizbullah's “withdrawal from the regional crises.”

“Some parties are trying to address the crisis in a shallow manner and this is wrong, seeing as we all support the settlement,” Geagea said after talks in Baabda with President Michel Aoun, referring to the 2016 settlement that led to Aoun's election and Hariri's designation as premier.

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Hollande Postpones Beirut Trip

Prime Minister Tammam Salam has announced that French President Francois Hollande decided to postpone his trip to Beirut to ensure its success.

Hollande delayed his visit “probably to November until the circumstances that guarantee the success of the trip are available,” Salam said in New York.

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Officials: Progress in Talks on Army Promotions

Change and Reform bloc officials revealed Tuesday that consultations among top politicians aimed at ending the deadlock on the promotion of army officers have made progress.

The officials, who were not identified, told al-Mustaqbal newspaper that the talks are tackling the promotions and the activation of the work of parliament and the government.

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Salam Says Lebanon Breaking Down

Prime Minister Tammam Salam has warned that Lebanon is breaking down because of differences between the rival political parties and their failure to resolve controversial issues.

Salam told the Washington Post in an interview that the 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon “are a burden because they share our electricity, our water, our schools, our roads, our commerce, our jobs — and yes, the Lebanese are tired of this.”

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Report: European States Seeking Solution to Presidential Crisis

Discussions are underway in European countries to find a solution to Lebanon's presidential deadlock by proposing the name of a security official who receives consensus, Western diplomatic sources in Beirut said Sunday.

The sources told the Saudi Okaz daily that the official should receive the support of Hizbullah and al-Mustaqbal movement.

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Geagea Slams Division of Shares, Describes Dialogue as 'Waste of Time'

Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea announced on Saturday that the LF will not participate in a dialogue that Speaker Nabih Berri has called for to tackle Lebanon's controversial issues, describing it a “waste of time.”

“The dialogue will be similar to its predecessors. Consequently, it is a waste of time,” Geagea said about previous all party-talks held under former President Michel Suleiman.

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Berri Hopes LF Would Attend Dialogue

Speaker Nabih Berri has expressed hope that the Lebanese Forces would announce its support for the dialogue session that he has called for.

“If (LF chief Samir) Geagea decided not to participate in the dialogue, then I would understand his stance because he hadn't participated in the previous all-party talks under the chairmanship of former President Michel Suleiman at Baabda Palace,” Berri told his visitors.

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Report: Ministerial Sources Anticipate Berri's Initiative

Ministerial sources following up closely on the contacts between political factions said they are waiting for the initiative expected to be kicked off by Speaker Nabih Berri to hold consultations to bring the rival politicians on the dialogue table either in Ain el-Tineh or in parliament.

The Speaker is thoroughly studying the initiative and has not failed to test the waters, exploring the reactions in advance, the sources told al-Joumhouria daily on Saturday.

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