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Lebanon mulling selling debt in dollars

Lebanon is still considering the option of a new dollar debt sale and has not yet announced any issuance, Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil told Reuters on Thursday. Last week Khalil said that one option in front of Lebanon for paying its debt obligations for the year would be to …

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Aoun warns Israel with dire consequences of any war

Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun warned on Friday that Israel would bear the results of any attack on his country, days after a flare-up at the border between Israel and Iran-backed Hezbollah. “Any attack on Lebanon’s sovereignty … will be met with legitimate self-defense which Israel will bear all the consequences …

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Lebanon in state of economic emergency

Lebanon will declare an economic emergency and the government has begun work on a plan to accelerate public finance reforms, its prime minister said on Monday. Saad al-Hariri also said the policy of keeping stable the Lebanese pound, which is pegged to the dollar, would continue. Cabinet ministers, politicians and …

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Israel and Lebanon trade words as well as shells

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel was prepared for any scenario after a cross-border clash with Lebanon’s Hezbollah but neither side seemed eager for another conflict. Israel’s military said anti-tank missiles from Lebanon targeted an army base and vehicles and that it responded with fire into southern …

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Israeli drones burn forest in Lebanon

The Lebanese military said an Israeli drone, which violated Lebanon’s airspace, dropped incendiary material and sparked a fire in a pine forest by the border on Sunday. The fires near the border in Lebanon “originate with operations by our forces in the area,” the Israeli military said in a statement …

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Reinforcements on Israeli side of Lebanese border

Israel’s military said on Saturday it had ordered extra forces to deploy its northern command as tensions remained high with Lebanon’s heavily armed Shi’ite movement Hezbollah. The army said its “ground forces, air, navy and intelligence forces improved their preparedness for various scenarios in the northern command area.” It said …

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Banned Iranian tanker headed to Lebanon

Turkey said on Friday that an Iranian tanker at the center of a confrontation between Washington and Tehran was headed to Lebanon after changing course several times, although Beirut said it was not informed of the plan. According to Refinitiv tracking data, the Adrian Darya, formerly called Grace 1, made …

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US sanctions Lebanese bank for Hezbullah connection

The United States on Thursday sanctioned Lebanon-based Jammal Trust Bank SAL and its subsidiaries for allegedly facilitating the financial activities of Hezbollah, according to the Treasury Department, which said the bank funnels money to the families of suicide bombers. The United States is determined to cut off support in Lebanon …

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Israel charges Iran with building missile facility in Lebanon

Israel accused Iran on Thursday of stepping up efforts to provide the Hezbollah militia with precision-guided missile production facilities, a warning to Beirut that Israeli counter-strikes could escalate. “Dir balak,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in public remarks directed at Lebanon, using the Arabic for “watch out”. Israel and Lebanon’s …

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Hezbullah weighs options in reponse to Israel

Hezbollah will respond with a “surprise” strike against Israel after drones crashed in Lebanon, but a new war remains unlikely, the Iran-backed movement said, amid heightened fears of a full-scale confrontation between the longtime adversaries. Israel has not claimed responsibility for the two drones that crashed at the weekend in …

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Netanyahu not concerned over Hezbullah response

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cautioned Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah to “calm down” after he warned Israel that his movement was preparing an imminent response to the crash of two Israeli drones in a Beirut suburb. “I heard what Nasrallah said. I suggest to Nasrallah to calm down. He …

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Jounieh Highway expansion on track

The expansion of Jounieh Highway will start before the end of the year, according to Ramzi Salman, CEO of Société D’Entreprises Abdul Rahman Hourie, the company which won the tender along with Consolidated Engineering and Trading (CET). The highway will be expanded to new width of 50 meters. It will …

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Maronite church blocks Lebanese pop music concert

Lebanon’s Byblos festival has canceled a concert by the indie rock band Mashrou’ Leila “to prevent bloodshed” after calls from church leaders accusing the band of blasphemy and death threats on social media. The Maronite Catholic Eparchy of Byblos said last week the Lebanese band’s songs “violate religious values” and …

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Argentina orders freezing of Hezbollah assets

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentinian authorities ordered the freezing of Hezbollah assets in the country on Thursday and effectively designated the Lebanese Islamist group, which it blames for two attacks on its soil, a terrorist organization. The announcement came on the 25th anniversary of the bombing of a Jewish community …

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Hezbollah scaling back forces in Syria

Iran-backed Hezbollah has reduced its forces in Syria as fighting died down though it still has fighters all over the country, its leader said on Friday. The heavily armed Lebanese Shi’ite movement has played a vital role in the war next door, helping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad reclaim much of …

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Nabih Berri condens US sanctions on Lebanese figures

New U.S. sanctions against Hezbollah, including two Lebanese lawmakers, amount to an assault on the country and its parliament, Speaker Nabih Berri said on Wednesday. The U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on three top officials from Iran-backed Hezbollah on Tuesday: Amin Sherri and Muhammad Raad, members of Lebanon’s parliament, as well …

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US sactions three Hezbollah figures

The U.S. Treasury added three top Hezbollah figures to its list of sanctioned individuals on Tuesday, including two members of the Lebanese Parliament and a security official responsible for coordinating between Hezbollah and Lebanon’s security agencies. It was the first time the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control had …

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Lebanon’s UN coordinator in UAE

Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, yesterday met with Jan Kubis, UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, at the ministry’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi. During the meeting, the two sides reviewed a number of issues of mutual concern. Dr. Gargash and the UN official also discussed …

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Qatar investing $500 million into Lebanon

Qatar has bought some Lebanese government bonds as part of its planned $500 million investment in the Lebanese economy, a Qatari government official told Reuters on Sunday. The Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs said earlier this year the wealthy Gulf country planned to invest $500 million in Lebanese government U.S. …

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Lebanese budget foments violent protests

Hundreds of veterans burned tyres and blocked highways in Lebanon on Thursday to protest plans to tax their pensions and other measures in a 2019 budget intended to slash the country’s deficit. Parliament is debating a draft budget approved by the cabinet last month. It aims to cut the deficit …

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Nabih Biri says no to settling Palestinians

Lebanon will not be lured by a U.S. plan to invest billions in the country in return for settling Palestinian refugees, its parliament speaker Nabih Berri said on Sunday. U.S. President Donald Trump’s blueprint for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, set to be presented by his son-in-law Jared Kushner at a conference …

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Iran frees detained Lebanese businessman

A Lebanese businessman detained in Iran since 2015 for alleged anti-state activity left the country on Tuesday, a Lebanese official said, after Beirut secured his release. Nizar Zakka, who has U.S. residency, flew to Beirut with Lebanon’s security chief Abbas Ibrahim, the official told Reuters. Zakka, who also holds U.S. …

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Lebanese kidnapped by Nigerian gunmen

Gunmen in Nigeria’s oil-rich Rivers state kidnapped two Lebanese workers helping to build a road, a police spokesman told Reuters on Sunday. The workers were abducted on Friday from a site in the Andoni local government area, Rivers state police spokesman Nnamdi Omoni said. “Some people have been invited for …

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Lebanon committed to minimising budget deficit

The Lebanese state draft budget for 2019 will have a deficit below 9% of gross domestic product (GDP) and it may be less than 8.5% of GDP, Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil said on Saturday, according to broadcaster LBC. Khalil made the comments in a discussion with reporters. The deficit …

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Latest tax hike in Lebanon

The Lebanese government agreed on Friday to raise the tax on interest payments to 10% from 7% for three years as part of the draft 2019 budget, the information minister said. Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil has described raising the tax as “fundamental” to bringing down heavily-indebted Lebanon’s budget deficit. …

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Budget tightening effects Lebanese army

The Lebanese government said on Friday that only soldiers serving at the frontline with Israel would benefit from a financial incentive that was designed for frontline troops but has been widely applied. A demand for the strict application of the “Measure 3” scheme was included in a tough draft budget …

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Lebanese strike comes to successful conclusion

Lebanese central bank workers suspended a strike on Tuesday but left open the possibility of resuming the walkout on Friday if the government presses ahead with draft budget proposals that would cut their pay. Strikes in other state-owned bodies including the power producer, telecom firm Ogero and the port of …

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