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Geagea Travels to Qatar for Official Visit

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea traveled Sunday to Qatar for an official visit, state-run National News Agency reported.

He was accompanied by his wife MP Sethrida Geagea and an LF delegation comprising ex-minister Tony Karam, foreign affairs officer Pierre Bou Assi and Gulf dept. official Fadi Salameh, NNA said.

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Report: Ibrahim Revives Hostages File

General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim has resumed contacts with mediators to press for the release of Lebanese servicemen taken hostage by jihadists in August last year, al-Joumhouria newspaper reported on Friday.

Ibrahim asked the involved parties to swiftly resolve the case, it said.

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Hariri Slams 'Baseless Rumors' on Alleged Qatari Role in Protests

Al-Mustaqbal movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri stressed Wednesday that “rumors implicating the name of the State of Qatar in the current Lebanese events are definitely baseless.”

“Qatar is a brotherly state that cares about Lebanon's stability and it did not hesitate to help the country under all circumstances,” Hariri tweeted.

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Qatar to Enforce Key Labor Reform from November

Football World Cup 2022 host Qatar will begin enforcing a law that ensures migrant workers get paid on time from early November, labor ministry officials said on Wednesday.

The Wage Protection System (WPS) -- trumpeted by the government as a "significant" reform -- has been delayed from an initial start date of August 18 to allow companies more time to prepare for the change.

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Qatar to Launch Major Labour Reform for Migrant Workers

Qatar on Tuesday officially launches one of its most "significant" labor reforms to guarantee migrant workers' wages, but rights groups are concerned over implementation of the new regulations.

The Wage Protection System (WPS) aims to ensure that migrant laborers, many working on 2022 World Cup-related projects, will finally receive their pay on time.

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U.S. to Push Ahead with Vexed Syria Training Mission

President Barack Obama's administration vowed to press ahead with a half-billion-dollar mission to train Syrian opposition fighters Tuesday, despite fears that its initial failures have dented U.S. credibility. 

After the routing of a 54-strong U.S.-trained force by al-Qaida allied rebels, Pentagon spokeswoman Commander Elissa Smith told Agence France Presse there was no plan to pause or scale back the program.

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Qatar Backs Turkey over Bombing Raids in Northern Iraq

Qatar has broken ranks with the Arab League to give close ally Turkey its full support for air strikes in northern Iraq, according to an official foreign ministry statement.

On Tuesday, the Arab League condemned Turkey's actions and called on Ankara to recognize the sovereignty of Iraq.

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Head of Taliban's Qatar Office Quits as Leadership Rift Deepens

The head of the Taliban's Qatar-based political office has stepped down, a statement said, a high-profile resignation within leadership ranks highlighting growing discord over the movement's recent power transition.

Mullah Akhtar Mansour was announced as the new Taliban chief on Friday after the insurgents confirmed the death of Mullah Omar, who led the militant movement for some 20 years.

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Australian Charged with Trying to Join Kurds in Iraq

A Melbourne man has been charged with attempting to leave for Iraq to fight with Kurdish forces against the Islamic State group, just weeks after another Australian was killed during a similar venture.

Jamie Williams, 28, is accused of preparing to enter a foreign country with the intention of engaging in hostile activities -- which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

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Report: Iran's Zarif to visit Gulf, Iraq

Iran's top diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif will visit Kuwait, Qatar and Iraq this weekend, the ISNA press agency said Friday, following a landmark nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

The accord, struck on July 14, which imposes certain controls on Iran's nuclear programme in exchange for a lifting of crippling economic sanctions, is expected to form the basis of discussions during Zarif's trip.

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