Latest stories
Berri to turn presidential vote into dialogue session if blocs agree

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri announced Thursday that he would turn next week’s presidential election session into a parliamentary dialogue if the blocs agree to such a move.

“I will explore the opinion of all colleagues and parliamentary blocs regarding the issue of dialogue. If it turns out to be positive, I will turn next Thursday’s session into a dialogue session in parliament,” Berri said.

W140 Full Story
Mikati denies interfering to prevent Stephanie Saliba's arrest

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati on Thursday denied a media report claiming that he had mediated with security agencies to prevent the arrest of the actress Stephanie Saliba at the Rafik Hariri International Airport.

“What al-Akhbar newspaper has reported about an interference by PM Mikati in a file related to Ms. Stephanie Saliba is totally baseless,” Mikati’s press office said in a statement.

W140 Full Story
Lebanese aviation chief denies Iranian planes carrying arms to Hezbollah

Lebanon’s Civil Aviation Director General Fadi al-Hassan on Thursday denied a media report claiming that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard might take advantage of the flights of Iranian airline Meraj to transfer arms and sensitive equipment to Hezbollah.

“This report is baseless,” al-Hassan told al-Jadeed television.

W140 Full Story
Geagea will never again accept a Hezbollah candidate after Aoun's 'lesson'

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said Thursday that any presidential candidate backed by Hezbollah would lead to "a further collapse."

Geagea reiterated his categorical rejection to the election of Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil or Marada leader Suleiman Franjieh.

W140 Full Story
FPM MP says his bloc may vote for Kanaan in next session

The Free Patriotic Movement-led Strong Lebanon bloc might vote for its member MP Ibrahim Kanaan in the upcoming presidential election session, MP Salim Aoun said on Thursday.

“The FPM has several choices, including MP Ibrahim Kanaan, but they are not limited to him,” Aoun said, in an interview with Radio Voice of All Lebanon.

W140 Full Story
Hezbollah slams FPM's accusations as 'unwise, inappropriate'

Hezbollah on Thursday hit back at betrayal accusations by Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil, noting that it had not promised anyone that “the caretaker cabinet would not convene except after all its components agree on the meeting.”

“We do not want to engage in a debate with any of our friends, although a lot of what was mentioned in (ex-)Minister Bassil’s remarks requires a discussion. However, we find ourselves concerned with commenting on two issues in light of the need to clarify them to the public opinion,” Hezbollah’s media relations unit said in a statement.

W140 Full Story
Parliament fails to elect president amid high Hezbollah-FPM tensions

Parliament failed Thursday for the ninth time to elect a new president, amid high tensions between the two allies Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement.

Thirty nine blank votes were cast and thirty nine MPs voted for MP Michel Mouawad.

W140 Full Story
Lebanese banks battered by meltdown struggle to survive

Lebanon's once burgeoning banking sector has been hard hit by the country's historic economic meltdown. It has suffered staggering losses worth tens of billions of dollars and many of the small nation's lenders now face possible closures or mergers.

Yet bankers have been resisting attempts to make their shareholders assume responsibility for those losses and instead have been trying to shift the burden to the government or even their own depositors. The country's political class, blamed for decades of corruption and mismanagement that led to the meltdown, has also resisted reforms.

W140 Full Story
Report: Qatar tells Iran, Bassil it wants army chief as president

Qatar has “strongly” waded into the Lebanese presidential file in terms of negotiating with Iran, sources involved in the file said.

W140 Full Story
FPM, Hezbollah to meet 'within a week' to review MoU

The memorandum of understanding between Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement has suffered a blow but it has not collapsed, a highly informed political source said.

W140 Full Story