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Geagea slams 'reckless' Hezbollah as MP threatens to take up arms

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on Monday said the military drill that Hezbollah carried out Sunday in the South is “totally rejected at a time that the Lebanese are struggling night and day and every moment to rebuild their state and regain Arab and international confidence in this state.”

“Hezbollah addressed a clear message to all Lebanese and the Arab and international communities by saying that ‘no matter how much you try and seek, we will not allow the rise of a real state in Lebanon,’” Geagea said.

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Bassil would only accept an FPM presidential candidate

The FPM will not agree with the Lebanese Forces and the opposition on any candidate except a candidate from the FPM, MP Alain Aoun said.

Aoun considered that only an FPM candidate would not be considered provocative to Hezbollah.

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Mikati says Hezbollah arms need national accord after controversial drill

The Lebanese government “rejects any act that infringes on the state’s authority and sovereignty, but the issue of Hezbollah’s arms requires comprehensive national consensus,” caretaker PM Najib Mikati said on Monday, after a Hezbollah military drill in the South drew condemnation from the party’s domestic rivals.

“This should be among the priorities of the coming stage,” Mikati told U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka, after she asked him about the drill during a meeting at the Grand Serail, the National News Agency said.

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Paris begins new presidential talks with Christians, Gulf states

France will launch direct dialogue with influential Christian forces and leaders because it “does not trust the seriousness of (Suleiman) Franjieh’s rivals for agreeing on a candidate,” a media report said on Monday.

“After Paris’ invitation of Kataeb Party chief Sami Gemayel, efforts were made to address a similar invitation to Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, who declined it because he knew that the agenda was not suitable for him,” al-Akhbar newspaper reported.

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Bassil: We will remain flexible to reach presidential agreement

Free patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil has said that he will remain open minded, responsive and flexible regarding the presidential file.

"If you reject a name, we can discuss another, there are many candidates who can reach national or Christian agreement," Bassil said from Paris.

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Bukhari: Saudis barred from investing in Lebanon before president election

Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Walid Bukhari has told those he met in recent weeks that the kingdom has prevented Saudi businessmen from investing in Lebanon before the election of a new Lebanese president, a media report said.

“The kingdom has stood in the way of hundreds of Saudi investors who had recently expressed their desire to invest in Lebanon,” al-Akhbar newspaper quoted Bukhari as saying.

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Lebanon bathing suit row triggers women-led beach protest

Lebanese activists protested Sunday at a beach in the coastal city of Sidon after a woman said she was harassed there over her allegedly indecent bathing suit, an AFP correspondent said.

Defying a municipality ban on their demonstration, dozens of protesters, mostly women, gathered briefly in the Sunni Muslim-majority conservative city, the correspondent said.

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Hezbollah stages wargames for media, asserts readiness to confront Israel

Hezbollah put on a show of force Sunday, extending a rare media invitation to one of its training sites in southern Lebanon, where its forces staged a simulated military exercise.

Masked fighters jumped through flaming hoops, fired from the backs of motorcycles, and blew up Israeli flags posted in the hills above and a wall simulating the one at the border between Lebanon and Israel.

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Paris asks Bassil to back Franjieh in return for 'naming Salameh successor'

French diplomacy is in constant communication with Free Patriotic Movement leader Jebran Bassil, informed sources said.

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FPM MP: Talks with LF hit dead end, page turned on Azour

The latest negotiations between the parties that oppose Suleiman Franjieh’s presidential nomination have failed to reach any result, ad-Diyar newspaper quoted “trusted sources” as saying.

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