"And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness, the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us. But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief. "

Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)

YENİ ÇIKTI !

NEWS AND ARTICLES / HABERLER VE MAKALELER

Monday, October 31, 2016

Michel Aoun elected president of Lebanon- Al-Jazeera

Michel Aoun, the former Lebanese army chief, has been elected president of Lebanon, ending more than two years of deadlock surrounding the vacancy.
Aoun, 81, secured the presidency by winning the support of 83 MPs, well above the absolute majority of 65 needed to win, according to a tally of votes read out in a televised broadcast from parliament on Monday.
Fireworks echoed across Beirut as the tally showed Aoun the winner.
Aoun, an MP, was shown smiling in his seat. The Lebanese presidency is reserved for a Maronite Christian in the country's sectarian power-sharing system.

Patriarch al-Rahi congratulates President Aoun: We wish him success- MTV

Maronite Patriarch Bechara al-Rahi congratulated newly elected President Michel Aoun, wishing him success during his term.

Al-Rahi prayed that Aoun's rein be blessed, hoping that it would help lift Lebanon out of the current crises shaking its stability.

"The election of President Michel Aoun rescued Lebanon from two and a half years of painful vacuum," al-Rahi added.

Lübnan 29 ay sonra cumhurbaşkanını seçti- Sputnik News


Lübnan'da 2014'ten bu yana devam eden cumhurbaşkanlığı seçimleri sona erdi. Özgür Yurtsever Hareketi'nden Mişel Aun, Lübnan Meclisi'nde düzenlenen 46. oturumun 2. turunda 83 vekilin oyunu alarak Lübnan'ın 13. cumhurbaşkanı oldu.

Lübnan Meclisi, 29 aylık uzun bir maratonun ve 45 başarısız girişimin ardından eski Lübnan Genelkurmay Başkanı Mişel Aun'u cumhurbaşkanı olarak seçti. Uğradığı suikast sonucu hayatını kaybeden eski Lübnan Başbakanı Refik Hariri'nin oğlu Saad Hariri'nin lideri olduğu Müstakbel Hareketi ile Hizbullah'ın Aun'a destek vermesi 29 aydır devam eden krizin çözülmesinde etkili oldu.

CUMHURBAŞKANLIĞI İÇİN LÜBNANLI ŞARKICI MERYEM KLİNK'E DE OY ÇIKTI

Meclis Başkanı Nebih Berri'nin yoklama almasının ardından 127 milletvekilinin hazır bulunduğu mecliste oylamaya geçildi. Oylamada hiçbir aday gerekli olan 86 vekilin oyunu alamayınca ikinci tura geçildi. İlk turda düzenlenen oylama için dağıtılan oy pusulalarının bazılarında 'Sedir Devrimi Lübnan'ın hizmetinde' yazılı geçersiz oylar çıkarken Lübnanlı manken ve şarkıcı Meryem Klink için de bir oy çıktı.

İkinci tur oylamada toplam oy sayısının meclisteki milletvekillerinin sayısından fazla çıkması nedeniyle ikinci kez oylamaya geçildi. Son düzenlenen oylamada 81 yaşındaki Aun oturuma katılan 127 milletvekilinden  83'ünün oyunu alarak Lübnan'ın 13. cumhurbaşkanı seçildi. Oylamada 36 oy boş çıkarken 8 oy geçersiz sayıldı.

Lebanon Elects New President, Ending Years-Long Political Stalemate- Sputnik News


After more than two years of political stalemate, General Michel Aoun has been elected by Lebanon's parliament as the new president.

BEIRUT (Sputnik) — Lawmakers in Lebanon voted in Gen. Michel Aoun as the new president of the Middle Eastern republic Monday, ending Lebanon's two-and-a-half-year political crisis. A total of 83 out of 126 voting lawmakers cast their ballots for Aoun, giving the 81-year-old former prime minister a needed parliamentary majority. Today's vote marks the 46th attempt by Lebanon's parliament to elect a president.

Live coverage: Lebanon elects Michel Aoun president- NOW

After 30 months of presidential vacuum, 81-year-old Aoun set to return to Baabda 26 years on from controversial wartime premiership.

Lebanese lawmakers have begun arriving at the parliament building in downtown Beirut to partake in a presidential election session widely expected to return Free Patriotic Movement founder MP Michel Aoun to Baabda 26 years on from his controversial wartime term as temporary prime minister.

With the full support of the parliamentary blocs of Hezbollah and the Lebanese Forces, as well as the majority of Future Movement and Democratic Gathering MPs - not to mention Aoun's own sizeable bloc - 'The General,' as he is known, is thought to have just enough votes to win the first round of voting, set to commence at noon, which necessitates the support of two thirds of MPs (86). Failing that, a second round of voting would immediately follow, requiring just half-plus-one of parliament (65 MPs), which Aoun would assuredly win.

Lavrov: Halep'in doğusundaki tüm militanlar El Nusra'yla suç ortaklığı yapıyor-


Rusya Dışişleri Bakanı Lavrov, Suriye'nin Halep kentinin doğu kesimlerindeki militanların, ismini Fetih el Şam olarak değiştiren El Nusra Cephesi'nin suç ortakları olduğunu söyledi. Lavrov, Rus uçaklarının Halep'te hava operasyonu düzenlemediği iki haftalık süreçte, bu kentteki muhalifleri eski El Nusra'cılardan ayırmayan ABD'yi de eleştirdi.

Lebanon: Michel Aoun elected president, ending two-year stalemate- BBC News

Lebanon's parliament has elected Michel Aoun as president, ending a political stand-off that has left the post empty for more than two years.
The newly-appointed president, a Maronite Christian, vowed to protect Lebanon from "regional fires" - a reference to the conflict in Syria.
Mr Aoun was backed by the powerful Shia Islamist group, Hezbollah.
His candidacy was blocked by the rival, Sunni-dominated Future Movement until a deal was struck earlier this month.
It will reportedly see the Future Movement's leader, Saad Hariri, become prime minister.
Mr Aoun, an 81-year-old former army general, secured 83 votes in the 128-seat chamber when MPs convened for their 46th attempt to choose a head of state.


The stalemate has paralysed Lebanon's government, which is struggling to deal with deep divisions over the five-year civil war in neighbouring Syria and the arrival of more than one million refugees.

Lübnan'da cumhurbaşkanlığı seçimine doğru- TRT Haber

Lübnan'da iki buçuk yıldır seçilemeyen cumhurbaşkanının seçimi için mecliste yapılacak oturumdan önce başkent genelinde yoğun güvenlik önlemleri alındı.
 
Başkent Beyrut'taki Başbakanlık Sarayı, meclis binası ve çeşitli bakanlıkların bulunduğu bölgeye araç trafiğine izin verilmezken, yayaların girişine de güvenlik noktalarındaki sıkı denetimden geçirilerek müsaade ediliyor.
 
Cumhurbaşkanı adaylarından General Mişel Avn'ın eski Başbakan ve Müstakbel Hareketi lideri Saad Hariri ile Dürzi lider İlerlemeci ve Sosyalist Partisi'nin Genel Başkanı Velid Canbolat'tan aldığı destekten sonra toplantı yeter sayısının 86'ya ulaşacağı belirtiliyor. Avn'ın ayrıca cumhurbaşkanı seçilmek için gerekli olan 65 oy sınırını gruplardan büyük bir fire verilmediği takdirde aştığı ifade ediliyor.
 
Avn'ın seçileceğine kesin gözüyle bakan taraftarları, Hristiyanların yoğun yaşadığı bölgelerde halihazırda kurdukları çadırlarda kutlamalara başlarken, Avn destekçilerinin ayrıca mecliste düzenlenecek oturumun ardından başkentteki Şehitler Meydanı'nda kutlama için bir araya gelmesi bekleniyor.
 
Cumhurbaşkanlığı oturumu
 
Cumhurbaşkanlığı seçimleri için bugün düzenlenecek 46'ıncı oturumda ise süreç 128 sandalyeli mecliste 86 milletvekilinin hazır bulunmasını gerektiren toplantı yeter sayısının sağlanmasıyla başlayacak. Avn'a rakiplerinden gelen destek ve Hizbullah ile Avn'ın partisi Özgür Yurtsever Hareketi'nin (ÖYH), iki buçuk yıldır sürdürdüğü meclis boykotunu sona erdirmesinin ardından mecliste toplantı yeter sayısına ulaşılması bekleniyor.

Geagea: Delays in Government Formation During New Mandate Signals its End- Naharnet

Lebanese Forces Party leader Samir Geagea warned against any delays in forming the government during the new presidential mandate, noting that “such a delay would signal the mandate's end before it actually begins.”
Geagea anticipated that the upcoming new government should be formed within four weeks “shall agreements exists,” among the political parties, he said in an interview to the NTV station.
He urged the new cabinet to be “a government before anything else” and to be “homogeneous and compact, without any opposing member.”
He also stressed on the “existing understanding with the Free Patriotic Movement over a complete partnership, in good times and bad.”

Sunday, October 30, 2016

What will a new president mean for Lebanon?- Al-Jazeera

Beirut - Lebanon is on the brink of filling its presidential vacuum after two-and-a-half years without a leader. 
On October 20, Saad Hariri, the leader of the Future Movement, endorsed his political opponent, former general Michel Aoun, for president. Hariri - the son of former prime minister Rafik Hariri, who was assassinated in 2005 - said that his endorsement was made in the interest of Lebanon's overall well-being.
But some of his party's most notable figures quickly condemned Hariri's endorsement of Aoun, whom Hezbollah has supported from the beginning. The endorsement signals a weakening of the Future Movement.
The next parliamentary session to elect a president will be held on Monday. If Aoun moves into Baabda Palace as president, what will that mean for Lebanon? With a president finally in place, will the Lebanese government be able to take a more proactive role in confronting the major security and economic issues facing the country?

Al-Rahi Urges Speedy Govt. Formation, No Obstruction- Naharnet

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi called Sunday on the political blocs to “speed up the formation of the new government” after the election of a new president on Monday.
“We urge the political blocs to speed up the formation of the new government and not to obstruct the process,” said al-Rahi during his Sunday Mass sermon.
“The current challenges are huge and numerous, topped by building national unity and achieving national reconciliation,” he noted.
The patriarch also called on the next president and premier to “cooperate with competent, impartial and trustworthy employees who would spare the executive authority paralyzing conflicts and partisan and sectarian tensions.”

Franjieh's 'White Vote' Call May Lead to '40-Member' Opposition Bloc- Naharnet

Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh's call for the blocs that support him to cast blank votes in Monday's presidential election session might create a 40-member opposition bloc consisted of the MPs who resort to this choice, a media report said on Sunday.
“The idea of casting blank votes instead of voting for Franjieh was reached after consultations between Franjieh and (Speaker Nabih) Berri,” the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat quoted multiple political sources as saying.
“The consultations also involved a number of independent MPs who support Franjieh, such as ex-PM Najib Miqati, ex-deputy PM Michel Murr and Minister Butros Harb,” the newspaper added.
The decision was reached after “the failure of Hizbullah's attempts to mend ties between Berri, Franjieh and General (Michel) Aoun.”

Saudi to Invite Aoun to Visit Kingdom after Election- Naharnet

Saudi Arabia will invite Free Patriotic Movement founder MP Michel Aoun to visit the kingdom on an official visit after his election on Monday as a new president for Lebanon, a media report said on Sunday.
“Saudi State Minister for Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan told Change and Reform bloc chief General Michel Aoun during their meeting on Friday that the Saudi authorities intend to invite him to visit the kingdom after his election as president,” FPM parliamentary sources told the Saudi, pan-Arab daily al-Hayat.

Jihadists and other rebels launch new offensive in Aleppo- The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda’s rebranded guerrilla army in Syria and its jihadist allies are fighting alongside other rebels in an offensive intended to break the siege of Aleppo. The new effort is aimed at forces loyal to Bashar al Assad’s regime, as well as Assad’s Russian and Iranian-backed partners.
Shortly after Al Nusrah Front, a regional branch of al Qaeda, was renamed Jabhat Fath al Sham (“Conquest of the Levant Front”) in late July, the insurgents launched a massive operation to break through the Assad regime’s stranglehold on Aleppo. [See LWJ report, Jihadists and other rebels claim to have broken through siege of Aleppo.]
Despite some early victories by the insurgents, the Assad-Russia-Iran axis struck back, recapturing lost ground and squeezing the city. But the Sunni jihadists, Islamists and other rebels are attempting to break through once again.
The fighting is led by groups belonging to the same two coalitions that attempted to break the siege earlier this year: Jaysh al Fath (“Army of Conquest”) and Fatah Halab (“Aleppo Conquest”). Two dozen or more organizations belong to these coalitions, or are closely allied with them. Many of the constituent organizations in each alliance have streamed videos and released photos from the fighting on their social media pages.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Rahi Welcomes Hariri as 'Man of Courage,' and Hariri Says a New Leaf Will Begin Monday- Naharnet

Al-Mustaqbal Movement leader Saad Hariri urged everyone to cooperate for the well interest of Lebanon, pointing to a new leaf that will be opened on Monday after the election of a head of state to fill the longtime vacuum.
“The country is on the threshold of a new phase, and I hope that everyone cooperates for the well interest of Lebanon and the Lebanese,” said Hariri after meeting Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi in Bkirki.
Hailing the Patriarch Hariri said: “The Patriarch has been keen on the election of a president,” adding “we will all cooperate on Monday. Today we are heading towards a white end to open a new leaf in relations and to begin this phase together,” he said pointing to enormous challenges facing the government.
For his part, Rahi received Hariri and welcomed him as saying: “Welcome you man of courage and determination,” in a clear reference to Hariri's initiative when he endorsed MP Michel Aoun for the post of president last week.
Speaker Nabih Berri has summoned lawmakers on October 31 for the presidential vote, which will go ahead if a quorum of two-thirds is reached.
The 128-member legislature counts 127 lawmakers at the moment after one member resigned over the summer.

A Guide to Presidential Elections in Lebanon- Naharnet

Lebanon's parliament is set to end more than two years of stalemate on Monday by electing a new president for a non-renewable six-year term.
The post is always held by a Maronite Christian under a power-sharing agreement dating back to independence in 1943.
According to the same deal, the head of parliament is always a Shiite Muslim and the prime minister a Sunni Muslim.
The president plays the role of a referee, but his power has been limited in a system based on a delicate balance between Lebanon's different communities.
The vote
Speaker Nabih Berri has summoned lawmakers on October 31 for the vote, which will go ahead if a quorum of two-thirds is reached.
The 128-member legislature counts 127 lawmakers at the moment after one member resigned over the summer.
The successful candidate wins the vote with a majority of two-thirds in the first round, or with an absolute majority in the next rounds.
Powers curtailed
The only Christian head of state in the Arab world saw his powers curtailed after the 1989 Taef agreement to end the 1975-1990 civil war.
Under the accord, which sought to balance power between Lebanon's Christian and Muslim communities, the president can no longer appoint and dismiss the prime minister or dissolve parliament.
He names the premier after consulting parliament. 
The president heads the armed forces, but these also come under the authority of the cabinet.
He negotiates international treaties along with the prime minister, but these also need approval from government.
He presides over cabinet meetings and can introduce an urgent matter to be discussed, but does not take part in any cabinet vote. 

Negotiaions Underway to Convince Franjieh to Withdraw from Presidential Race- Naharnet

Some serious efforts are underway to convince Marada chief MP Suleiman Franjieh to withdraw his nomination from the presidential race, al-Akhbar daily reported on Saturday.
The daily said that some “unnamed” parties are “testing the waters” and coordinating efforts with the Free Patriotic Movement, of presidential hopeful MP Michel Aoun, to find a way to make Franjieh withdraw his candidacy before Monday's election session.
It added that the parties mediating this solution brought the subject up with Franjieh before contacting the FPM.
Furthermore, some political figures keen on Franjieh's best interest, talked about the MP's possibility to withdraw if he becomes certain that the number of votes that he will obtain in the election session are less than the number obtained by Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea in 2014, added the daily.
Geagea received 48 votes.
Many doubt the possibility that Franjieh will not obtain this number of votes, it pointed out.
Speaker Nabih Berri has summoned lawmakers on October 31 for the vote, which will go ahead if a quorum of two-thirds is reached.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Russian General Staff asks Putin for permission to continue strikes at militants in Aleppo- TASS

MOSCOW, October 28, /TASS/. Russian military have asked President Vladimir Putin, who is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, to permit resumption of airstrikes at mlitants in eastern Aleppo, Gen Sergey Rudskoi, the chief of the main department for operations at the General Staff of the Armed Forces said on Friday.

"Since civilians continue dying and the militants have resumed active combat actions againt government forces, we've asked the Supreme Commander to authorize resumption of airsrikes at illegal paramilitary formations in eastern Aleppo," he said.


Syria Rebels in Assault to Break Aleppo Siege- Naharnet

Syrian rebels launched a major assault Friday aimed at breaking a months-long siege of opposition-held districts of Aleppo, as regime ally Russia held off on renewed air strikes.
Rebel groups including the powerful Ahrar al-Sham faction and former al-Qaida affiliate Fateh al-Sham Front fired waves of rockets into government-held western Aleppo, killing at least 15 civilians, a monitor said.
The rebels also targeted government positions east of Aleppo city and in the coastal province of Latakia, including the Hmeimim military base used by Russian forces allied with the regime.
Moscow says it has not bombed Aleppo since October 18, but senior Russian military official Sergei Rudskoi told a briefing Friday that the military had asked President Vladimir Putin for authorization to resume its air strikes.
"We have appealed to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation with a request to resume air strikes," Rudskoi said.
But the Kremlin said Putin did not agree.

Lavrov, Zarif and Muallem Give Joint Press Conference After Meeting in Moscow- Sputnik News


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, his Iranian and Syrian counterparts, Javad Zarif and Walid Muallem have commented on the situation in Syria during a joint press conference in Moscow.

Russian Foreign Minister on the Situation in Syria



Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the fight against terrorism should continue and the warring sides should return to peaceful reconciliation.

Lavrov said that Moscow and Tehran support Syria's sovereignty, the fight against terrorism and the restoration of the country's economy. Moscow, Tehran and Damascus agree that the Syrian peaceful settlement has no alternatives. He said that neither Russian, nor Syrian warplanes have been conducting operations in Syria's Aleppo for ten days.



The Latest: Russia FM hosts talks with Syria, Iran- FOX News

The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local):
11:15 a.m.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is hosting the foreign ministers of Syria and Iran in Moscow as the Syrian army's siege of the rebel-held districts of the city of Aleppo continues.
Lavrov said in televised remarks on Friday at the start of the talks that Russia will keep supporting the Syrian government while the West is considering news sanctions to put pressure on both countries to halt an offense against rebel-held parts of Aleppo, which had drawn international outrage.
Lavrov will talk with with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and Iran's Mohammad Javad Zarif separately before the three of them sit down for three-way talks later Friday. Iran is another key backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Jaysh Al-Fateh launches massive offensive to break Aleppo siege- Al-Masdar News

ALEPPO, SYRIA (12:00 P.M.) - The jihadist rebels of Jaysh Al-Fateh (Army of Conquest) have begun their long-awaited offensive to lift the siege on the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo City.
Launching 3 VBIEDs (vehicle borne improvised explosive device) in the western and southwestern neighborhoods of Aleppo, Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham (formerly Al-Nusra Front) and their allies attempted to infiltrate the Syrian Arab Army's defenses at the Dahiyat Al-Assad, Minyan, and 1070 districts.
Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham claimed control of the Minyan Sawmills and Al-Surah Checkpoint after scoring a direct hit with their suicide attack.
Intense clashes are now taking place at several axes in western Aleppo, as the groups in Jaysh Al-Fateh attempt to lift the two month long siege on the eastern neighborhoods.
At the same time this assault in the west began, another group of jihadist rebels launched a powerful attack in northwestern Aleppo, targeting the Al-Layramoun District and Al-Malaah Farms under the Syrian Arab Army's control - no gains have been reported yet.

Syria rebels 'in push to break Aleppo siege'- BBC News

Rebels in Syria have announced a big offensive aimed at breaking the government siege of east Aleppo.
A UK-based monitoring group says rebels fired "hundreds" of missiles on western Aleppo, killing at least 15 civilians.
In response, Russia's defence ministry asked permission from President Vladimir Putin to resume air strikes against the rebels after a 10-day pause, but he denied the request.
About 275,000 people have been besieged in the east of the city for months.
Russian and Syrian government planes began bombarding the city in September. More than 2,700 people are said to have been killed and injured since then.

'Rakka operasyonu 3 aşamalı olacak'- Sputnik News


Musul operasyonuyla eşzamanlı olarak IŞİD'in üzerindeki baskıyı artırmak için Rakka'ya yönelik operasyon hazırlıkları devam ediyor. New York Times gazetesine göre üç aşamalı bir plan söz konusu: 1-Hava saldırıları yoğunlaşacak. 2-YPG’nin de olduğu güçlerle kent kuşatılacak. 3-Arapların çoğunlukta olduğu güçlerle operasyon başlayacak.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Al-Rahi: President Draws Strength from His People, Our Support- Naharnet

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi announced Thursday that a strong president is a president who draws strength from “his people and our support for him.”
“We congratulate the Lebanese that we will have a president on Monday, after two and a half years” of presidential vacuum, al-Rahi said during a dinner banquet for Lebanon's Catholic Media Center.
Free Patriotic Movement founder MP Michel Aoun was tipped to become president after al-Mustaqbal Movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri formally endorsed him last Thursday.
Lebanon has been without a president since the term of Michel Suleiman ended in May 2014 and Hizbullah, Aoun's Change and Reform bloc and some of their allies have been boycotting the parliament's electoral sessions, stripping them of the needed quorum.

Four more reconciliation agreements inked in Syria - Russia’s Defense Ministry- TASS


MOSCOW, October 27. /TASS/. New reconciliation agreements have been inked in Syria but terrorists continue their provocations, the Russian center for reconciliation of the opposing sides said in its daily news bulletin posted on the Russian defense ministry’s website on Wednesday.

"In the past 24 hours, reconciliation agreements have been inked with four populated localities in the provinces of Hama (3) and As-Suwayda (1). The number of populated localities that joined the reconciliation process has increased to 851," the document says.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Çavuşoğlu: YPG, Suriye’de yerel güç sayılamaz- Sputnik News


Dışişleri Bakanı Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, ABD Savunma Bakanı Ashton Carter’ın Rakka operasyonunun sinyalini verdiği açıklamasında yaptığı ‘yerel güçler’ vurgusuna yanıt verdi. Çavuşoğlu, “Nasıl güneyden Şii milisler Musul operasyonunda yerel güç sayılmayacaksa Suriye’de Rakka operasyonunda YPG/PKK teröristleri yerel güç sayılmaz” dedi.

Saudi Minister to Voice Support for 'Hariri's Initiative' during Lebanon Visit- Naharnet

Saudi Arabia's state minister for Gulf affairs will visit Lebanon in the coming days and will express the kingdom's support for the presidential initiative of al-Mustaqbal Movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri, a media report said on Wednesday.
“The postponement of the visit of State Minister for Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan is solely linked to (Speaker Nabih) Berri's return from Geneva and Riyadh's envoy will express to Berri the kingdom's support for Hariri's initiative,” Mustaqbal Movement sources told al-Akhbar newspaper.
“The Saudi envoy will carry suggestions aimed at resolving the obstacles and lowering the level of opposition that the speaker has showed against the agreement between Hariri and (Free Patriotic Movement founder) General Michel Aoun,” the sources added.
Media reports have said that the “real battle” will only begin after Aoun's election as president in the October 31 session and that some parties will not facilitate the formation of a government led by Hariri.

Franjieh Meets al-Rahi, Vows to Stay in Presidential Race- Naharnet

Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh held talks Wednesday in Diman with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi and stressed that he will maintain his presidential nomination.
After a 45-minute closed-door meeting, Franjieh and al-Rahi continued their talks over a lunch banquet, state-run National News Agency said.
“The atmosphere was excellent,” Franjieh told reporters after the talks.
“The meeting with His Eminence is normal prior to the upcoming electoral session and we discussed the current developments in the country,” he added.
And in response to a question, the Marada leader emphasized that he will stay in the presidential race although the chances of his electoral rival MP Michel Aoun seem to be much higher.

Geagea: We're Living Historic Moments and We'll Have '100% Made in Lebanon' President- Naharnet

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea announced Wednesday that the country is going through “historic moments” with the looming election of a “100 percent made in Lebanon” president.
“We are living historic moments, even if not everyone is satisfied,” said Geagea at a Maarab conference on oil and gas exploration in Lebanon.
“We managed to do a lot of things regarding the presidency. There was a veto on the presidential election and there was a very big decision to block it, and I'll leave it to your imagination to guess where it was coming from,” he added.
“Our conscience is clear and we have made a big achievement for the sake of the country,” Geagea boasted.
He also stressed that the Lebanese will soon have a “100 percent made in Lebanon” president.
“Some Lebanese refuse to believe that we have a national will. Some countries do not want elections in Lebanon but as soon as some political forces reached an agreement in Lebanon, they managed to reach a 100% 'made in Lebanon' presidential vote,” Geagea added.
The LF leader played a key role in supporting the presidential nomination of Free Patriotic Movement founder MP Michel Aoun after the two parties reached a political agreement after months of rapprochement talks.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

PSP Leadership Voices Support for 'Settlement' in Meeting over Presidency- Naharnet

The leadership of the Progressive Socialist Party held a meeting on Tuesday to decide how to distribute the votes during the parliamentary election session schedule for October 31 to elect a president.
According to LBCI television, the meeting "mulled the presidential choices and reiterated its stance that supports holding the election in a manner that strengthens the atmosphere of internal agreements and boosts the settlement's chances."
The Democratic Gathering parliamentary bloc led by PSP chief MP Walid Jumblat had met on Saturday in Mukhtara where Jumblat said that a decision would be taken and announced this week.
Free Patriotic Movement founder MP Michel Aoun is tipped to become president after al-Mustaqbal Movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri formally endorsed him on Thursday.
A parliament session to elect a president is scheduled for the end of October, following several previous ones that failed to achieve quorum.
After his endorsement, Aoun visited Speaker Nabih Berri, who has openly announced that his bloc will not vote for the FPM founder and that it might join the ranks of the opposition.

Aoun's Bloc: No Bilateral Approach and We're Seeking National Consensus on President- Naharnet

MP Michel Aoun's Change and Reform bloc reassured Tuesday that there will not be a “bilateral or tripartite approach” should Aoun be elected president, noting that it is still seeking to reach “national consensus.”
“The current presidential course that has emanated from national agreements based on Muslim-Christian partnership is an implementation of the National Pact in a manner that that shuns the approach of bilateral or tripartite agreements,” said the bloc in a statement issued after its weekly meeting.
“This is how we view the course of the agreements which we are seeking to complete in order to reach national consensus on the president,” it added.
And noting that the country will for the first time ever have a “made in Lebanon” president, Change and Reform said “the current initiatives have blurred the line between the March 8 and March 14 coalitions.”

Turkish-backed rebels advance in northern Syria - Turkish army- Reuters

Turkish-backed rebel forces in northern Syria have gained control of three areas in the last 24 hours as they press a two-month-old operation to drive Islamic State and Kurdish militia forces from the border, the Turkish army said on Tuesday.

It said Turkish howitzers shelled 72 Islamic State and 15 Kurdish YPG militia targets as part of the "Euphrates Shield" operation launched in August, which has also been backed by Turkish warplanes and tanks.

With ground and air fire support the Syrian rebels "largely secured control" over the areas of Tuways, Al Gharz and Tlatinah south of Akhtarin, the military statement said, adding five rebels were killed and 28 wounded in the latest clashes.

The assault appeared to mark the first advance by the rebels in several days, widening the territory which they have seized since the start of the operation to 1,280 square kilometers (494 square miles), according to the statement.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Al-Rahi Meets Aoun, Says Relieved over Nomination- Naharnet

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi expressed “relief” Monday that the country's lengthy presidential vacuum might see an end during the October 31 voting session.
Al-Rahi voiced his stance in a joint statement that was issued after talks in Bkirki with Free Patriotic Movement founder and leading presidential candidate MP Michel Aoun.
Aoun was tipped to become president after al-Mustaqbal Movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri formally endorsed him on Thursday.
“General Aoun briefed Patriarch al-Rahi on the latest developments in the presidential file ahead of the Oct. 31 electoral session,” the statement said.
“Patriarch al-Rahi expressed his relief over the realization of what he had long called for, which is that the political and parliamentary blocs declare their stances on nominations,” it added.
“This guarantees that the scheduled electoral session will be held and a president whom people have waited for so long will be elected,” the statement said.

Franjieh Says 'Won't Withdraw' from Race although Aoun's Chances 'Stronger'- Naharnet

Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh stressed Monday that he will not withdraw from the presidential race although the chances of his electoral rival, Free Patriotic Movement founder MP Michel Aoun, seem to be “stronger” in the upcoming October 31 session.
“I will not withdraw from the presidential race and I will attend the electoral session and accept the result no matter what it might be,” Franjieh said in an interview on LBCI television.
“We don't have a problem in the election of General Aoun as president and he has the right to be in the race,” he added.
The Marada chief however lashed out at both Aoun and his new ally Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea.
“Since when the names of Dr. Geagea or General Aoun have been associated with a state of stability or prosperity? They have always been associated with a state of war, obstruction and criminality, and I'm not referring to Aoun by the last word,” he said.

Hajj Hassan Holds Economic Talks in Damascus with Syrian PM- Naharnet

Industry Minister Hussein al-Hajj Hassan of Hizbullah held talks Monday in Damascus with Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis.
Talks tackled “the ties between the two countries and means to improve them in the economic fields, especially industry and commerce,” Syria's official news agency SANA said.
The Syrian premier explained “the phases of the terrorist war that Syria is being subjected to and the systematic destruction that has targeted the economic sectors, especially industrial zones, factories and lines of production,” SANA said.
“He clarified that the Syrian government is working, according to a new strategy, on rehabilitating the productive agricultural, commercial and industrial sectors,” the agency added.
Hajj Hassan for his part stressed that “Syria and Lebanon share the same fate in resisting the schemes that are being planned for the region to serve Israel and its objectives,” underlining “the importance of exerting efforts to improve the economic ties between the two countries, especially in the industry sector.”

Geagea: Aoun is Pragmatic, His Election as President 'Unpleasant' for Hizbullah- Naharnet

Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea stressed on Monday that the arrival of MP Michel Aoun to the post of presidency is “not favorable” for Hizbullah, as he stressed that the General (Aoun) is pragmatic in politics and does not adopt the strategy of Hizbullah.
Replying to a question on whether his support for Aoun means that he has become a partner of Hizbullah, Geagea said in an interview to the Cairo-based CBC TV: “General Aoun is pragmatic. Before 2005 he was against the Syrian tutelage and against Hizbullah. He has played a major role in the issuance of the US law on the accountability of Syria and has went personally to the Congress where he testified against the tutelage authority at the time.
“Since 1990 until 2005 he used to say that Hizbullah is in Lebanon under a Syrian-Iranian support. After he returned from exile in 2005, he did not find himself a place among the March 14 alliance and has thus behaved pragmatically and allied with Hizbullah. But he does not believe in Wilayat al-Faqih nor does he adopt the strategy of the party.”
Geagea made clear that when “Nasrallah verbally attacked Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in a speech, Bassil (Free Patriotic Movement leader) replied and said that the rhetoric of Nasrallah does not express their opinion. This is the best proof that Aoun's arrival at the post does not mean that Hizbullah did.”
The LF chief went on to slam allegations that a deal was struck between him and Aoun, he said: “The jurisdictions of the president are limited if compared to those of the president in Egypt. The general policy is usually approved in the government and it requires two-thirds of the votes. All political powers will be represented in the next government. We are in dire need of having a president.”

Saniora: Mustaqbal MPs Rejecting Aoun's Nomination Dropping to Five- Naharnet

Head of al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc MP Fouad Saniora said that the number of bloc MPs rejecting the nomination of founder of the Free Patriotic Movement MP Michel Aoun for the post of president is dropping, al-Akhbar daily reported on Monday.
“We were counting on a larger number of opposition in the Mustaqbal bloc, but the number has dropped to five deputies,” unnamed sources quoted Saniora as saying.
“The number of Mustaqbal deputies who reject the nomination of Aoun for the presidential post is limited to not more than five MPs,” Mustaqbal parliamentary sources told the daily.
“Reports alleging that the number of MPs rejecting the election of Aoun is increasing are unfounded. The opposition is still limited to four or five deputies who have openly declared their position” to head of al-Mustaqbal Movement Saad Hariri added the sources.
“The rest of the deputies are going to vote in favor of Aoun,” they said.

Erdoğan: Putin’in desteğine ihtiyacım var- Al-Jazeera Turk

Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan, “Bölgede teröre karşı ortak mücadelede saygıdeğer kıymetli dostum Putin’in desteğine ihtiyacım var. Bu alanda Rusya ile işbirliğimiz için biz gereken her adımı atmaya hazırız” dedi.

Cumhurbaşkanı Tayyip Erdoğan, Rus devlet televizyonu Rossiya-1’de yayınlanan programda soruları yanıtladı. Ortadoğu’daki 'terörle mücadele' sürecine değinen Erdoğan, "Bu bölgede teröre karşı ortak mücadelede saygıdeğer kıymetli dostum  Putin’in desteğine ihtiyacım var. Bu alanda Rusya ile işbirliğimiz için biz gereken her adımı atmaya hazırız" ifadelerini kullandı

'24 Kasım talihsiz bir olay, soruşturma devam ediyor'

24 Kasım’da Türk hava sahasını ihlal ettiği için Rus savaş uçağının düşürülmesine değinen Erdoğan şu ifadeleri kullandı:

"Olayla ilgili konuyu mektubumda da dile getirdim. Olayın bizler için de üzücü olduğunu ve talihsiz bir olay olduğunu ifade ettim. Suriye topraklarındaki bu olayla bağlantısı olanlar yakalanarak mahkemeye verilmiş bulunuyor. Soruşturma devam ediyor. Şu anda Rus pilotun ölümüne neden olan kişi cezaevinde. Bu talihsiz olayın üzerinden sekiz aydan fazla bir süre geçti."

İzvestiya: Rusya, Fırat Kalkanı operasyonu için Türkiye ile istihbarat paylaşacak- Sputnik News


İzvestiya gazetesi, Moskova'nın Ankara'yla, Fırat Kalkanı operasyonunda Türk ordusu için yararlı olabilecek istihbarat bilgilerini paylaşacağını yazdı.

İzvestiya'ya bilgi veren bir askeri diplomatik kaynağa göre, istihbarat bilgisi paylaşımına ilişkin anlaşma Rusya Devlet Başkanı Vladimir Putin'in 10 Ekim'de İstanbul'a gerçekleştirdiği ziyaret sırasında sağlandı.

'GERASİMOV, TÜRK MEVKİDAŞI AKAR İLE GÖRÜŞTÜ'

"Rus delegasyonunun içerisinde Rusya Genelkurmay Başkanı Valeriy Gerasimov da vardı. Gerasimov, Türk mevkidaşı Hulusi Akar'la görüşme gerçekleştirdi. Taraflar, Fırat Kalkanı operasyonu sırasında Türk asker için yararlı olabilecek istihbarat bilgilerinin Türkiye'ye verilmesine ilişkin anlaşmaya vardı" ifadelerini kullanan kaynak, "Taraflar, tam olarak hangi bilgilerin paylaşılacağını ve bu bilgilerin nasıl bir formatta verileceği konularını da tartıştı" diye ekledi.

Hariri Wasn't Summoned to Saudi Arabia, Gulf Delegates in Beirut to 'Bless' Aoun's Nomination- Naharnet

Al-Mustaqbal Movement chief Saad Hariri was not summoned to Saudi Arabia against the backdrop of nominating MP Michel Aoun for the presidency, but has headed to the Saudi capital to attend to the financial and administrative crises at his companies, al-Mustaqbal daily reported on Monday.
Sources close to the ex-PM told the daily that Saudi Arabia did not summon Hariri to inform him of “reservations as for his nomination of founder of the Free Patriotic Movement.”
“A Saudi envoy will visit Beirut very soon to give blessings to the initiative made by Hariri” remarked the sources on condition of anonymity.
“The Saudi position with regard to the nomination of Aoun is not negative. Hariri would not have made a declaration of support if it was not under a Saudi cover,” they added.
The daily added that after a long talk and assurance that the settlement was Lebanese par excellence, the sources pointed out that there is a “Saudi-Iranian-Russian-American agreement to elect Aoun.”

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Kremlin says all of Syria must be “liberated”- CBS News

The entire territory of Syria must be “liberated,” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said in remarks televised Saturday, dismissing demands for Syrian President Bashar Assad’s departure as “thoughtless.”

The Russian statement came as intense clashes were reported in northern Syria between Turkish troops and Turkey-backed opposition fighters with Kurdish-led forces. The Syrian army command condemned the fresh offensive by Turkish troops inside Syria, describing it as “an occupation that will be dealt with by all available means.”
The Turkish military intervened in the Syrian war in August this year under orders from Ankara to clear the border area of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters and U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces linked to Turkey’s own outlawed Kurdish insurgency. The Turkish government considers both to be terrorist groups.
In the northern city of Aleppo, government forces shelled eastern rebel-held neighborhoods Saturday night marking an apparent end to a lull announced by Russia.
Russia’s Dmitry Peskov said Assad needs to stay in power to prevent the country from falling into the hands of jihadis.
“There are just two options: Assad sitting in Damascus or the Nusra sitting in Damascus,” Peskov said in a reference to the Nusra Front, al Qaeda’s branch in Syria that renamed itself Fatah al-Sham Front earlier this year. “And Assad must sit in Damascus to ensure a political settlement.”

Berri: Don't Waste Time Trying to Convince Me to Vote for Aoun- Naharnet

Speaker Nabih Berri has reportedly stressed that no one should “waste time” trying to convince him to vote for Free Patriotic Movement founder MP Michel Aoun in the October 31 presidential election session.
“Prior to his travel to Geneva, Berri told mediators that securing quorum for the Oct. 31 presidential election session is the maximum that he can do regarding the presidential file,” the Kuwaiti daily al-Qabas quoted a source close to Berri as saying in remarks published Sunday.
“This is already too much,” the source quoted Berri as saying.
“Berri called on mediators not to waste time trying to persuade him to change his stance that is opposed to the election of General Michel Aoun,” the source added.
Later on Sunday, Berri confirmed to reporters in Geneva that he told Aoun during their meeting on Thursday that he would not seek to strip the Oct. 31 session of its quorum although he is capable of making such a move.
Berri, who has openly declared that he opposes the election of Aoun, has pledged that his bloc will take part in the October 31 electoral session and that he will not try to strip the meeting of its quorum.

Nasrallah Says Hizbullah Not Opposed to Hariri's Designation as PM, Calls It 'Very Big Sacrifice'- Naharnet

Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah confirmed Sunday that his party is not opposed to the re-designation of al-Mustaqbal Movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri as premier, describing the stance as a “very big sacrifice.”
“Nothing was for free. There were discussions for more than a month. They asked about the premiership should they accept to vote for General (Michel) Aoun for president,” said Nasrallah in a televised speech marking a week since the death in Syria of Hizbullah commander Hatem Hamade – referring to officials from Hariri's al-Mustaqbal Movement.
“They received an answer from General Aoun and from (Free Patriotic Movement chief) Mr. Jebran Bassil and yet they insisted on asking us and hearing from us and we told them that we do not mind,” Nasrallah added.
“This a huge decision at all the political and psychological levels. Some parties are saying that they are offering sacrifices and I would also like to announce that we are offering a very big sacrifice when we say that we are not opposed to the appointment of ex-PM Saad Hariri as premier,” Hizbullah's chief went on to say.
He described Hariri's official endorsement of Aoun's nomination as an “important development” that “largely paves the way for holding the presidential election in a realistic manner.”
“Hariri's endorsement speech carried escalation and attacks against us but we will not respond now and we will focus on the positive side,” Nasrallah added.
“Everything can be addressed through dialogue and it will be addressed through dialogue,” Hizbullah's leader stressed.
Commenting on recent media reports, Nasrallah added: “I stress that none of the allies and rivals is thinking of chaos and civil war and what was attributed to AMAL Movement's leadership in this regard is baseless and has been categorically denied.”