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UNIFIL marks 45th anniversary, expressing hope for eventual lasting peace

Marking the 45th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Aroldo Lázaro reflected on the mission’s origins and his hope, one day, for a lasting peace in the region.

Speaking to an audience gathered at UNIFIL Headquarters in Naqoura for the occasion, Major General Lázaro said that “the ultimate success of Resolution 1701 will be found in a permanent ceasefire and a sustainable peace. That needs a political agreement, and it is not something that we, as peacekeepers, can accomplish only ourselves. Our role is to create the conditions for this process to take place.”

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Lebanon to construct new terminal at Beirut airport

Lebanon will construct a $122 million terminal at Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport to be operated by a leading Irish airport company when it's completed in four years, officials said.

Lebanon's only international airport had a major facelift after the country's 1975-90 civil war and has been working at full capacity for years. The airport has not undergone an expansion since 1998.

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Geagea says Berri's camp obstructing presidential vote, not Christian disaccord

Lebanese Froces leader Samir Geagea said Monday that Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri's camp is the one to blame for the obstruction of the presidential election sessions, not the Christians' disaccord.

Berri had accused in an interview with al-Liwaa newspaper the Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese Forces of rejecting his calls for dialogue, warning that "without dialogue, the result will be further paralysis of the country.”

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Franjieh: A 'life-or-death' candidate for Speaker Berri

For Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, nominating Marada leader Suleiman Franjieh for presidency is a matter of "life or death," Nidaa al-Watan newspaper said Monday, as it reported that Berri is holding talks with France to find a settlement that would make Franjieh president.

The daily said in another report that Paris is promoting a proposal that would make Franjieh president, former Ambassador to the U.N. Nawaf Salam Prime Minister and Lebanese businessman Samir Assaf Central Bank governor.

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Berri awaiting 'official nominations' to call for presidential vote

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri has said that he is awaiting for “official or public nominations” for the presidential election in order to call for a voting session.

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Bkirki prepares for Christian meeting as FPM says to attend

The Maronite patriarchate in Bkirki is continuing its preparations for the “day of prayer and contemplation” that it has invited Christian MPs to attend on April 5, al-Joumhouria newspaper reported on Monday.

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Mikati to head to Cyprus to ask for new border demarcation talks

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati will head to Cyprus in the coming hours at the head of a ministerial delegation to request new negotiations on an agreement that had delineated the maritime border with the neighboring island, media report said.

“Signed in 2007 under Fouad Saniora’s government, the treaty contained flaws and cost Lebanon between 1,600 to 2,643 square kilometers of its exclusive economic zone, according to experts,” al-Akhbar newspaper reported.

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Opposition to start intensive talks to agree on presidential candidate

Opposition leaders will start intensive meetings and consultations this week, in an attempt to agree on a presidential candidate, Asharq al-Awsat newspaper reported Monday.

Top opposition leaders will meet with Change MPs, in a serious attempt to agree on one candidate who would face the Shiite Duo candidate, Marada leader Suleiman Franjieh.

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Cabinet to convene in coming days over public sector salaries

Cabinet will convene in the coming days to discuss the education file and the public employees salaries, al-Joumhouria newspaper reported Monday.

The daily said it has learned from ministerial sources close to caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati that the ministry of finance is preparing reports and tables for the salary adjustments and incentives to be given to the public sector employees, including the members of the armed forces.

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Nasrallah meets with senior Hamas delegation

Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has met with a senior Hamas delegation led by Sheikh Saleh al-Arouri, the deputy head of the Palestinian movement’s political bureau, Hezbollah said on Sunday.

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