France's Macron calls Lebanese president about cabinet formation

BEIRUT (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron called Lebanon’s president on Friday to discuss the need to press on with efforts to form a new government, seeking to give new momentum to an initiative by Paris that aims to pull the Middle East nation out of crisis.

France has been leaning on Lebanon’s sectarian politicians to name a cabinet swiftly and embark on reforms to get the country out of the worst crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.

But the process has been bogged down by a dispute over the allocation of ministries in the new cabinet.

Lebanon's Hariri says no sect has exclusive right to ministries

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said on Wednesday no sect had the exclusive right to the ministry of finance or other government portfolios, a reference to an issue at the centre of a dispute over the formation of a new government.

In a tweet, Hariri said rejecting the idea of switching control of ministries was frustrating “the last chance to save Lebanon and the Lebanese”, in reference to a French efforts to get Lebanese leaders to adopt a new government and reforms.

Lebanon Maronite Patriarch reiterates call for an international probe into Beirut blast

14 Sep 2020; MEMO: Lebanon’s Christian Maronite Patriarch Beshara Al-Rai yesterday reiterated his demand for an international investigation into the Beirut port explosion which killed nearly 200 people and wounded thousands more, Anadolu reported.

Two Lebanese Political Parties Refuse To Participate In New Cabinet

BEIRUT, Sept 14 (NNN-NNA) – Two political parties announced yesterday their decision not to participate in the next Lebanese cabinet.

A statement issued by Parliament Speaker, Nabih Berri’s office, indicated that he has informed the newly appointed Prime Minister, Mustapha Adib, of a decision not to participate in the government, which will mainly be “a technocrat cabinet that lacks affiliation and belongs to one’s political party, while being formed with foreign intervention.”

Lebanon’s Nabih Berri says his Amal movement will not join next government

14 Sep 2020; MEMO: Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament and head of the Amal Movement, Nabih Berri, said yesterday that his movement does not plan to participate in the next government led by Prime Minister Mutafa Adib, Anadolu reported.

A statement issued by Berri’s media office said the movement had informed Adib that it was willing to offer maximum cooperation to ensure Lebanon’s stability, enact reforms and save the economy.

Lebanese army kills head of suspected terrorist cell in northern Lebanon

BEIRUT, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Lebanese army killed on Monday Khaled al-Tallawi, head of a suspected terrorist cell in northern Lebanon, after targeting it in a raid overnight, a statement by the Lebanese army reported.

Al-Tallawi had opened fire and threw hand grenades at Lebanese army soldiers as they raided the house of a suspected terrorist in Beddawi which killed four soldiers.

Al-Tallawi then fled with three other militants into fields on the outskirts of the village Kfar Habou in Minyeh-Dinnieh.

Macron calls Lebanese politician as cabinet deadline looms

BEIRUT (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron has held a call with Lebanon’s parliamentary speaker to try to remove an obstacle to meeting this week’s deadline for forming a new government to drag the nation out of crisis, a Lebanese politician said on Sunday.

Speaker Nabih Berri leads the Amal Movement, a Shi’ite Muslim party allied to the powerful Hezbollah group.

Lebanon’s leadership promised Macron in Beirut on Sept. 1 that they would form a government of technocrats without party loyalties in about two weeks. They have just days left.

secret group captured Israeli Mossad officers in Lebanon: Report

10 Sep 2020; MEMO: A secret group which identified itself as the Freedom movement claimed to have captured at least two Israeli Mossad agents in Lebanon, Aliwaa newspaper said.

The Intel Sky Twitter account on Wednesday published a video clip saying “a party calling itself a freedom movement claims that they captured Israeli Mossad officers and publishes a short video clip of them, and they promise Netanyahu to pay the price!”.

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