Bureau Chief Lebanon, Syria, Jordan
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Apr 11, 2013

Lebanon says gas plans on track despite political upheaval

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanon’s political turmoil will not slow its oil and gas exploration plans for now, Energy Minister Gebran Bassil said, a week before he is due to announce which companies have pre-qualified in its first licensing round.

Fifty-two firms submitted bids last month to explore Lebanon’s offshore Mediterranean waters, including ExxonMobil, Repsol, China National Offshore Oil Company and Royal Dutch Shell.

Apr 9, 2013

U.N. may cut food aid to Syrian refugees due to cash shortage

BEIRUT/GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations said on Tuesday it will halt food aid to 400,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon next month unless it receives urgent new funding.

The cash shortage is part of a wider financial shortfall that the organization says is threatening its efforts to help nearly 1.3 million Syrian refugees and almost 4 million more people displaced inside Syria by the two-year conflict.

Apr 7, 2013

Lebanon’s new premier says election delay likely

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanon’s June election faces a possible delay, prime minister-designate Tammam Salam said, as he prepared to form a government which aims to resolve months of dispute over the vote and shield the country from war in neighboring Syria.

Salam, a moderate who won broad political support to become premier, said he would try to bring all of Lebanon’s rival factions into a government whose main priority was paving the way for the parliamentary election.

Apr 6, 2013

Air strike kills 15 in Aleppo, Assad warns of regional turmoil

BEIRUT (Reuters) – A Syrian government air strike killed 15 people on Saturday, including nine children, in a district of the northern city of Aleppo where Kurdish fighters have been battling forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, a violence monitoring group said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a warplane had bombarded the western edges of the Sheikh Maqsoud district of Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city, where Assad’s forces have been battling rebels for nine months.

Apr 6, 2013

Lebanese hope consensus premier can calm tensions

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Tammam Salam’s father served six times as prime minister in the turbulent years leading up to Lebanon’s civil war.

With his country threatened once again by sectarian rift and regional conflict, Salam the son was named prime minister on Saturday by Lebanese politicians hoping his soft-spoken calm may help to avert a fresh conflict in their fraught Mediterranean state.

Apr 6, 2013

New premier pledges to shield Lebanon from Syria dangers

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanese politician Tammam Salam was named prime minister on Saturday after he won a sweeping parliamentary endorsement, pledging to bridge the country’s deep divisions and shield it from the dangers of neighboring Syria’s civil war.

Salam was designated after the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Mikati, whose two years in office were dominated by efforts to contain sectarian tensions, violence and economic fallout from the Syrian conflict.

Apr 5, 2013

Hezbollah bloc, rivals back Salam for Lebanon premier

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Shi’ite militant group Hezbollah, its allies and pro-Western rivals on Friday backed Sunni politician Tammam Salam to be Lebanon’s new prime minister, handing him an overwhelming parliamentary endorsement to form a government.

Salam was endorsed by more than 80 of 128 members of parliament in the first day of talks held by President Michel Suleiman to nominate a successor to Najib Mikati.

Apr 5, 2013

Hezbollah bloc to back Salam for Lebanon premier

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Shi’ite militant group Hezbollah and its allies are expected to back Sunni politician Tammam Salam on Friday to be Lebanon’s new prime minister, politicians said, handing him an overwhelming parliamentary endorsement to form a government.

President Michel Suleiman is holding two days of talks to nominate a successor to Najib Mikati, who resigned last month after two fraught years in office during which he sought to contain sectarian tensions, street violence and economic fallout from the civil war raging in neighbouring Syria.

Apr 4, 2013

Lebanon’s Salam emerges as likely new premier

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanese politician Tammam Salam, a former minister from a prominent Sunni Muslim political dynasty, emerged as a potential new prime minister on Thursday when he was endorsed by the country’s pro-Western March 14 coalition.

Lebanon faces a parliamentary election in June but was plunged into uncertainty two weeks ago by the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Mikati, after a dispute over the electoral law and an extension to the term of a top security official.

Mar 23, 2013

Assad says Syria will wipe out mosque attackers

BEIRUT (Reuters) – President Bashar al-Assad vowed on Friday to purge Syria of “extremist forces” he accused of assassinating a leading Sunni Muslim cleric who backed his two-year battle against rebels and protesters.

Assad made the pledge in a message of condolence over the death of Mohammed al-Buti, who was killed along with dozens of worshippers by an explosion in a Damascus mosque on Thursday.

    • About Dominic

      "I run Reuters news operations in Beirut, Damascus and Amman. I have reported from across the Middle East since 1992, mainly in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and Dubai. I have also edited political and general news from Europe/MiddleEast/Africa and was parliamentary correspondent in London."
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