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DAILY SCOPE: Lebanon Presidential Impasse Continues, Yemeni Forces Reach Kofel Camp

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Most Lebanese newspapers on Friday commented on the Saudi invitation of the Lebanese speaker Nabih Berri, breaking the silence that prevailed on the presidential deadlock in Lebanon. Papers anticipated that Berri will not accept the invitation in such sensitive timing, as the country plunges into more division on the case. Papers also followed up on the Syria conference, as well as the latest developments taking place in Yemen as the army forces and popular committees make advancements in face of al-Qaeda and the mercenary forces.

DAILY SCOPE: Lebanon Presidential Impasse Continues, Yemeni Forces Reach Kofel Camp

AL-AKHBAR: Russia will not Interfere in Lebanon's Domestic Affairs, Cabinet Session not Decisive

Al-Akhbar newspaper on Friday said that head of the Change and Reform bloc MP Michel Aoun received the Russian ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zaspkin on Thursday in Rabieh, who in his turn did not give any statements.

The newspaper quoted diplomatic sources as assuring that "Russia does not and will not interfere in Lebanon's domestic affairs, and that it enjoys good relations with all Lebanese political powers."

The sources further told the paper that "the presidential deadlock is a very complicated matter, and that there remains a host of unclear issues that contribute to the complexity of the issue."

On another note, sources told the Lebanese daily it has become clear that the cabinet session to be held on the 16th of December is not going to be a decisive one, at the time the House Speaker Nabih Berri has stated that it is not useful for a session to convene in absence of understanding among the political parties.

AL-JOMHOURIA: Berri Not Visiting Saudi Arabia, Franjieh Initiative Still Stands

Speaker Nabih Berri received on Friday an invitation to visit Saudi Arabia, but he is unlikely to head to the kingdom "any time soon" especially during this sensitive period of time, reported al-Joumhouria newspaper on Friday.

"At the moment, the speaker does not have any trips on his agenda, except two to Iran and one to Iraq, where he will attend a conference of the Islamic Parliaments' Union by the end of December.

On another note, the newspaper reported Marada Movement sources as stressing that efforts are underway to reach an agreement over the nomination of its chief as president. The sources added that "the settlement to elect MP Suleiman Franjieh as president still stands."

The source stressed that the main goal of this initiative is to save the republic and revitalizing political life in the country.

Franjieh's candidacy is being proposed alongside a settlement that would end the political deadlock in Lebanon. It is also worth noting that a meeting took place between the two probable candidates for Presidncy, Franjieh and Aoun, where sources described the meeting as positive and productive. Lebanon has been without a president since May 2014 when the term of Michel Suleiman ended without the election of a successor.

AL-AKHBAR: Yemeni Army, Coalition Forces Make Advancements, Reach Kofel Camp Area

The ‘coalition' forces and armed groups conducted fierce attacks on different areas in Yemen's Ma'arib and al-Jawf at the borders with Saudi Arabia supported by heavy aerial attacks. Nevertheless, the Yemeni army and popular committees were able to repel all the attacks, Yemen military sources told al-Akhbar newspaper on Friday.

According to the source, the Yemeni army caused many deaths among the lines of the armed groups, with 14 corpses of terrorist fighters still captive in the hands of the popular committees.

On a related note, a military source told al-Akhbar newspaper that the army and popular committees were able to make major advancements on more than one axis in the mountains and hills surrounding Kofel military camp in Yemen's central province of Ma'rib. The source further pointed out that the army forces and popular committees have also seized military posts belonging to mercenary forces in the same area, and have started to advance into Ma'arib which has confused the coalition forces and mercenary forces a lot.

The sources further underscored that the battles taking place currently are between the Yemen army forces and popular committees on the one hand, and the al-Qaeda forces supported by Blackwater mercenaries on the other.

Source: al-Ahed News