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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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Protests break out in Lebanon over budget

Lebanon’s president called on Tuesday for approval of the 2019 draft budget by the end of May in order to launch long-stalled economic reforms, though military veterans fearing pension cuts took to the streets. Wrestling with one of the world’s heaviest public debt burdens and years of low growth, the …

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US tries to disrupt Hezbullah with bribes

The United States on Monday offered a reward of up to $10 million for information that could help disrupt financing of Hezbollah, the armed Shi’ite group backed by Iran. The announcement by the U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice Program comes amid growing concerns by Washington about Hezbollah’s growing …

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Lebanese bracing for latest austerity measures

The Lebanese government has yet to disclose its budget for 2019 but protesters are already in the streets fearing the “difficult and painful” reforms it is expected to announce as it tries to get spending in control and rein in public debt. Retired army officers blocked several highways with burning …

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Lebanon offers more offshore blocs, up against Israel

Lebanon announced on Friday five offshore blocks to be included in its coming bidding round for energy exploration and production licenses, including four along disputed maritime borders. Offshore energy development has been a central ambition for successive governments in cash-strapped Lebanon, but political paralysis has caused years of delays. Blocks …

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Putin discusses with Aoun Trump’s decision on Golan

Russian President Vladimir Putin will discuss the U.S. decision to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights with Lebanon’s president Michel Aoun at talks in Moscow later on Tuesday, the Kremlin said. U.S. President Donald Trump signed a proclamation on Monday officially granting U.S. recognition of the Golan Heights as …

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Michael Aoun rebuffs Pompeo over Pompeo

Lebanese President Michel Aoun told visiting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday that the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement was a Lebanese party with popular support, the Lebanese presidency said. “Preserving national unity and civil peace is a priority for us,” Aoun told Pompeo, the presidency said on its Twitter …

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Lebanon bans Boeing 737 MAX planes from airspace

Lebanon’s aviation authority on Wednesday said it had banned all Boeing 737 MAX planes from landing in Beirut or flying in Lebanese airspace, state news agency NNA said. A circular was issued by Mohammad Shehabeddine, director of the Civil Aviation Authority at Rafic Hariri International Airport, NNA said. Source: Reuters

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Hezbollah Condemns UK Proscription as Subjugation to US

Translated by Staff, Hezbollah Media Relation   Hezbollah condemned the British decision to proscribe it on the so-called “List of Terrorist Organizations”. Hezbollah is a resistance movement against the “Israeli” occupation; and no country in the world that embraces, finances and supports terrorism has the right to accuse Hezbollah or …

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Hezbollah adament in face of US charges

Hezbollah hit back against U.S. condemnation of its role in Lebanon on Thursday, calling it a “violation of sovereignty”, after the United States expressed concern over the organisation’s expanding influence. After meeting Lebanon’s prime minister on Tuesday, the U.S. ambassador said the United States was worried about the “growing role” …

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Saad Al-Hariri in UAE for World Government Summit

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received today a number of leaders and senior officials participating in the 7th World Government Summit, which started earlier today in Dubai. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed received Saad …

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Newly formed Lebanese government has crippling debt in its sights

Lebanon is committed to launching fast and effective reforms that could be “difficult and painful” to avoid a worsening of economic, financial and social conditions, according to a draft government policy statement seen by Reuters on Wednesday. The statement sets the main policy objectives of Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri’s national …

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Hezbullah makes major gains in new Lebanese unity government

Hezbollah’s bigger role in Lebanon’s new unity government points to a growing appetite to shape state affairs and builds on unprecedented military clout the group is wielding after helping turn the tide in Syria’s war. Hezbollah’s expanding power in Lebanon reflects a deepening of Iranian influence in an arc of …

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Qatar headed to Arab economic summit

Qatar’s emir will visit Beirut on Sunday for an Arab economic summit which has been marred by regional rifts and internal Lebanese disputes even before it began. Lebanese President Michel Aoun’s office said on Saturday Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani had informed it he would come to lead the …

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Lebanon wants Syria reinstated in Arab League

Lebanon’s Caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil called on Friday for reinstating Syria into the Arab League. “Syria should return to us…Syria should be in our embrace instead of throwing it into the embrace of terrorism,” he told Arab foreign and economy ministers at a summit that Beirut is hosting. Source: …

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US makes accusations against Hizbullah

The U.S. State Department criticized Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group on Monday for digging tunnels into Israel and stockpiling rockets, as Washington steps up efforts to isolate Tehran. In recent weeks, Israeli forces uncovered tunnels they said were dug by Hezbollah, and Lebanon complained about Israel’s construction of a barrier along …

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Lebanon’s Very Special Tribunal

Since its inception in 2009, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) in The Hague has divided Lebanon. Up until now far over half a billion USD has been spent and the meter is still running. In the past years the STL has made no arrests, it will probably never do …

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Hezbollah brokering a compromise for Lebanese cabinet

The powerful Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah believes a solution to be “very close” for the country’s impasse over forming a new government, one of its senior officials said on Wednesday, following nearly eight months of political wrangling. Lebanese politicians have been unable to agree a new government since a general …

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