Ali Abdul Karim Ali
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Phalange, National Liberal Youths Declare Syria's Ambassador 'Persona Non Grata'

The Phalange Party and National Liberal Party protesters considered on Saturday that the Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali is a “persona non grata,” calling on the diplomat to halt his interference in the Lebanese local affairs.

“If Foreign Minister (Adnan Mansour) won't put an end to your actions we will, you are (declared) as a persona non grata,” Simon Dergham, the head of the students organization in the National Liberal Party said.

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FM Considering Establishment of Syrian-Lebanese Refugee Committee

Lebanon is seeking to establish a joint Lebanese-Syrian committee to deal with the conditions of the Syrian refugees across the country as sharp differences surged between cabinet members on the measures to deal with the situation.

Voice of Lebanon radio (100.5) reported on Friday that Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour discussed with Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali a proposal to establish the committee that will be tasked with tackling the issue of Syrian refugees.

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Report: Syrian Envoy's Accusations Exacerbate Strained Ties between Syria, Suleiman

The Syrian regime has distanced itself from President Michel Suleiman over his indirect criticism of the Syrian ambassador for using the foreign ministry as a launchpad of verbal attacks against Lebanese officials, pan-Arab daily al-Hayat reported on Thursday.

The newspaper quoted official Lebanese sources as saying that Damascus has expressed frustration over Suleiman's recent comments that diplomats should abide by the protocol and the foreign ministry should reject being used as a forum for accusations launched against political leaderships.

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Syrian Envoy: Solution to Refugee Crisis Hinges on End of Foreign Funding, Arming

Syrian Ambassador Ali Abdul Karim Ali said the crisis of refugees from Syria would be resolved if what he said the funding and arming of rebels fighting the regime of President Bashar Assad would stop.

In remarks to As Safir daily published on Thursday, Ali said that Syria “is keen on resolving the issue of the refugees on humanitarian grounds.”

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Nazem al-Khoury Defends Suleiman's Stance on Role of Diplomats in Lebanon

Minister of Environment Nazem al-Khoury defended President Michel Suleiman against critics, saying it was his duty to give instructions to the foreign minister for diplomats to abide by the protocol.

“It is the duty of the president to give initial instructions to the foreign minister to draw to the attention of ambassadors the need to abide by the norms,” al-Khoury told An Nahar newspaper published on Sunday.

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Families of Tall Kalakh Victims Vow to Shut Border with Syria until Case is Resolved

The families of the victims of the Tall Kalakh ambush and Islamist inmates held in Roumieh prison urged on Friday officials to exert efforts to resolve the case of their loved ones, vowing to take escalatory measures should their demands not be met.

They said during a protest in the northern city of Tripoli: “We will shut the border-crossings with Syria until this issue is resolved.”

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Abou Faour Says to Send Response to Syrian Envoy's Accusations

Social Affairs Minister Wael Abou Faour said Friday he would refer to the Lebanese Foreign Minister a response to the Syrian envoy over his recent accusations that the ministry was involved in helping “extremist Salafist organizations.”

Abou Faour told al-Joumhouria daily that he drafted a letter to respond to the memo that Syrian Ambassador Ali Abdul Karim Ali handed recently to Mansour.

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Cabinet Approves Regulations at Petroleum Authority, to Tackle Refugees File on Jan. 3

Cabinet approved on Thursday the regulations at the petroleum authority, while introducing amendments to the salaries of its employees.

Social Affairs Minister Wael Abou Faour said at the end of the last session of 2012 that the salaries will be lowered from L.L.36 million to L.L.25 million.

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Syria to Hand Over on Sunday Bodies of Four Fighters Killed in Tall Kalakh

Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali informed Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour that his country will hand over on Sunday the bodies of four Lebanese fighters who were recently killed in the Syrian town of Tall Kalakh, the state-run National News Agency reported.

“The competent Lebanese authorities will be handed over on Sunday noon the corpses of four men who were killed in Tall Kalakh,” Ali said on Saturday.

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Conflicting Reports on Syrian Arrest Warrants against Lebanese Officials, FSA Member

Contradictory reports emerged on Wednesday on whether Lebanon received any Syrian arrest warrants against former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, al-Mustaqbal MP Oqab Saqr and Syrian opposition member Louay al-Meqdad on charges of “arming and financing terrorist groups in Syria.”

Interior Minister Marwan Charbel confirmed in comments published in al-Joumhouria newspaper the reports, saying the warrants will be referred on Wednesday to the general prosecution.

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