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.
Machnouk dismisses ISIS threat to Army
Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk dismissed a threat by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) to kill a captive Lebanese soldier if Lebanese authorities failed to meet the group’s demands to release Islamist prisoners and respect the rights of Syrian refugees.
Machnouk told Al-Liwaa Tuesday night that he believed the threat was “not serious,” pointing out that he had received reliable messages that confirmed the threat was fabricated and even had nothing to do with ISIS.
In a statement attributed to ISIS, the group threatened to kill a Lebanese soldier if Lebanese authorities failed to meet its demands in 24 hours.
The group also allegedly warned to kill one soldier every three days starting Aug. 26, when the statement was issued.
Saudi-Iranian meeting: a positive start
For the first time in many years, regional issues, including Lebanon, were put on the table as Saudi-Iranian talks kicked off amid an all-new atmosphere that began in Tehran and Riyadh two weeks ago.
Well-informed diplomatic sources in Jeddah told As-Safir that Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian held a “very positive" meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal in Riyadh Tuesday.
The sources pointed out that the relation between the two countries had been put on a positive track.
Hamidreza Dehghani, Iran’s ambassador to OIC (The Organization of Islamic Cooperation), told As-Safir in a telephone call that the Faisal-Abdollahian meeting was “very positive, fruitful and constructive.”
He said the meeting would have a positive outcome on Saudi Arabia and Iran as well as the Arab and Islamic worlds.
Ibrahim tasked with captive soldiers’ crisis
Contrary to what has been reported in the media recently about Hezbollah’s withdrawal from Syria in the foreseeable future, or that the group has raised the issue with Iran, information made available to Al-Joumhouria confirmed that there was nothing on the horizon indicating Hezbollah's intention to withdraw.
Meanwhile, well-informed sources told Al-Joumhouria that the government intended to task General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim with handling the captive soldiers’ issue.
Geagea intends to revive presidential election initiative
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea told An-Nahar that he was working toward reviving his initiative regarding the presidential election in coordination with his allies in the March 14 coalition in an effort to end the political stalemate.
Geagea said the initiative would explore the possibility of having a consensus candidate, adding that if this was not possible to achieve, he would still be March 14’s presidential candidate.
Geagea said his effort came ahead of the Sept. 2 parliamentary session to elect a new president.