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Information Minister Tarek Mitri briefed the media following the cabinet session at Baabda palace on Wednesday:

Lebanese delegation to Syria:

Mitri said that Syria postponed the trip of the Lebanese economic delegation to Damascus scheduled for Wednesday because of technical and organizational reasons. Mitri did not elaborate on what the technical and organizational reasons are. Many observers called Syria’s action ” arm twisting ” targeting the Lebanese prime minister and another exercise in “politically hegemony”.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri had told ministers during Monday’s cabinet session that a delegation would travel to Syria on his behalf to negotiate prior agreements between Beirut and Damascus as well as sign new ones. Reports on Tuesday said that Syria canceled the meeting because it did not approve of the delegation’s members.

Israeli violations

Mitri said that Lebanon’s position regarding Israeli violations of the Blue Line is known and that the Foreign Affairs Ministry knows how to address the issue. The Lebanese delegation to the UN deals with the issue without having to refer to the cabinet, he added.

Implementation of ministerial statement

Hariri briefed the cabinet on the progress achieved in implementing the cabinet’s ministerial statement, Mitri said

Expelled foreigners

The cabinet also touched on the issue of foreigners expelled from Lebanon after committing crimes, Mitri said without elaborating further. The ministers agreed to form a committee staffed by Hariri and ministers Ziad Baroud, Ali Shami, Ibrahim Najjar, Ghazi Aridi and Selim Sayegh to discuss the legislative aspects of the issue, the information minister added.

Telecom ministry

Mitri also said that the cabinet discussed the Telecommunication Ministry’s broadband project to expand fiber optic networks, adding that ministers made suggestions that could be discussed in the next cabinet session.

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