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Lebanon News

Lebanon's Arabic press digest – Aug. 20, 2014

Lebanon's Arabic press digest.

The following are a selection of stories from Lebanese newspapers that may be of interest to Daily Star readers. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.

Al-Akhbar

Qatar intervenes to help release captive soldiers

Al-Akhbar has learned that Qatar has intervened in negotiations with Nusra Front to secure the release of soldiers who were captured by Islamist militants during gunbattles with the Lebanese Army in the Bekaa Valley border town of Arsal earlier this month.

Sources close to the negotiations said a representative from Doha contacted the Nusra Front commander in Qalamoun, Abu Malik al-Tali, to put an end to the hostage crisis.

Abu Malik insisted that besides the Qataris, the Muslim Scholar Committee delegation must not end its mediation role.

As-Safir

Kahwagi to Moscow soon

Lebanese Army commander Gen. Jean Kahwagi said he wanted to diversify the weapon types within the $1 billion Saudi grant to support the military in its fight against terrorism.

Kahwagi told visitors, citing former Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s remarks: “Seek any deal suitable for the military institution and we will stand behind you.”

As-Safir has learned that Kahwagi plans to visit Moscow soon to sign an arms deal with the Russian army command.

Al-Mustaqbal

Pro-Hezbollah, fake Twitter creator charged

As part of security measures to foil strife, Military Prosecutor Saqr Saqr charged Hussein Shaman al-Hussein, a Hezbollah member and the creator of a fake Twitter account: The Free Sunni Brigades of Baalbek.

Meanwhile, Ali Barakat, a Hezbollah singer of religious anthems, was summoned over his sectarian-based songs.

Al-Mustaqbal said Barakat’s latest lyrics called on Hezbollah to shell Arsal and occupy the town.

Another new provocative song by Barakat targets Saudi Arabia.

Ad-Diyar

Berri, Hariri, Jumblatt support Parliament’s extension

Information made available to Ad-Diyar confirmed that talks between Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, which MP Walid Jumblatt had been informed about, resulted in an agreement to extend Parliament’s mandate by 31 months.

Al-Joumhouria

Parliamentary elections Nov.1 6

Amid a presidential vacuum and increased chances of an extension to Parliament’s mandate, the Cabinet agreed parliamentary elections to be held Nov. 16.

 

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Summary

Al-Akhbar has learned that Qatar has intervened in negotiations with Nusra Front to secure the release of soldiers who were captured by Islamist militants during gunbattles with the Lebanese Army in the Bekaa Valley border town of Arsal earlier this month.

Lebanese Army commander Gen. Jean Kahwagi said he wanted to diversify the weapon types within the $1 billion Saudi grant to support the military in its fight against terrorism.

Information made available to Ad-Diyar confirmed that talks between Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, which MP Walid Jumblatt had been informed about, resulted in an agreement to extend Parliament's mandate by 31 months.


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