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Akkar MPs discuss presidential vote with Kataeb Party

MPs Walid al-Baarini, Mohammed Suleiman, Ahmed al-Kheir and Sajih Atiyeh of Akkar’s National Moderation Bloc, accompanied by the bloc’s secretary ex-MP Hadi Hbeish, on Wednesday held talks Kataeb Party chief MP Sami Gemayel and MPs Nadim Gemayel and Salim al-Sayegh at Kataeb’s headquarters in Saifi.

“We discussed what gathers us, especially the attempt to devise a common strategy for the presidential election,” Sami Gemayel said after the meeting.

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Geagea: We'll continue to back Mouawad and try to secure him votes

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on Wednesday announced that his party’s parliamentary bloc “will continue to back MP Michel Mouawad’s nomination” for the presidency.

“He represents a choice and project that resemble us in terms of his understanding of national sovereignty and his faith in building a state and a non-corrupt administration,” Geagea said, in a Maarab meeting with French Ambassador to Lebanon Anne Grillo.

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Conflicting reports on govt. as Bassil insists on appointing Maalouf, Jreissati

As informed ministerial sources told al-Liwaa newspaper in remarks published Wednesday that the new government might be formed at the end of this week or next week at the latest, other sources said the formation process has suffered a “setback.”

Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil’s “insistence on appointing ex-MP Eddy Maalouf, ex-minister Salim Jreissati and figures close to the FPM as ministers has led to impeding the formation efforts,” informed sources told al-Liwaa.

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MP Zarazir ends bank sit-in after taking money for surgery

A Lebanese lawmaker entered a bank branch unarmed on Wednesday with two of her lawyers to free trapped dollar deposits she needs to pay for surgery, her lawyer said.

Cynthia Zarazir, who was elected to parliament in May polls, is the latest in a growing number of angry depositors who are forcing Lebanese lenders to unlock savings trapped under informal capital controls imposed amid an unprecedented financial crisis.

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ISG urges timely election of president and 'empowered new govt.'

The International Support Group for Lebanon (ISG) on Wednesday emphasized “the importance of electing within the timeframe set by the Constitution, a new President who could unite the Lebanese people and work with all regional and international actors to overcome the economic and humanitarian crisis for the greater public good, most immediately by paving the way for comprehensive reforms and an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).”

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Lebanon sends US its remarks on Israel maritime border dispute

Lebanon has sent Washington remarks over the proposal presented by U.S. mediator Amos Hochstein for resolving the long-running maritime border dispute with Israel.

A draft agreement floated by Hochstein aims to settle competing claims over offshore gas fields and was delivered to Lebanese and Israeli officials at the weekend, following years of indirect negotiations.

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Karama Beirut Film Festival highlights reconciliation in run-up to UN Day

The Karama Beirut Human Rights Film Festival (KBHRFF) kicked-off on Sunday evening at Sunflower Theater in Tayyouneh, Beirut, under the theme “The First Gate” in the run-up to the United Nations Day, which is the day the organization celebrates its establishment when the U.N. Charter entered into force on 24 October 1945.

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Banks Association blames state for crisis, calls for dialogue with depositors

The Association of Banks in Lebanon on Tuesday blamed the state and the central bank for the country’s “extended systemic crisis,” while calling on depositors to engage with it in dialogue, after five banks were stormed in less than 48 hours in a new wave of bank heists.

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Shea tells Bou Saab of need for fast response to Hochstein proposal

Deputy Speaker Elias Bou Saab met Tuesday in parliament with U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea.

Bou Saab briefed the ambassador on the outcome of the talks that were held Monday in Baabda over the sea border demarcation file and on the final remarks that were presented by the Lebanese side regarding U.S. mediator Amos Hochstein’s final proposal.

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Mikati vows to form govt. despite 'many obstacles, conditions'

Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati on Tuesday pledged to “carry on with the new government formation process” despite the “many obstacles” that he said are being put in his way.

Mikati also lamented that there are “conditions and suggestions aimed at creating a de facto situation during the most dangerous phase of our history.”

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