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News Lebanon to host 2019 Arab Summit: Hariri

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BEIRUT: Lebanon will host the 2019 Arab League Summit, Prime Minister Saad Hariri told Cabinet officials Thursday.

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Hariri left Lebanon for Paris following the Cabinet session, an airport source told The Daily Star.

Sources close to Hariri said that his visit to Paris was "a personal trip."

In the spirit of President Michel Aoun’s longtime calls for Beirut to be a center for dialogue between cultures and religions, Lebanon is set to host the Arab League Summit for the second time, having first played host in March 2002.

The decision could be interpreted as a sign of warming ties between Lebanon and other Arab states. Lebanon’s relationships in the region have been tense since the outbreak of the Syrian war in 2011.

Hezbollah has been at the center of these fraying regional relationships, which deteriorated further after Lebanon’s 2016 decision to reject the designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization by the Gulf Cooperation Council and a convocation of Arab interior ministers. At the time, the interior ministers of Iraq, Algeria and Lebanon were the only three to reject the decision.

Source: Lebanon to host 2019 Arab Summit: Hariri
 
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