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Quadripartite Meeting in Paris Postponed Over Conflicting Agendas of Officials

A meeting that was scheduled to be held on Sunday between France, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar over the political crisis in Lebanon was postponed over conflicting agendas, French foreign ministry sources told pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat.

In remarks published Monday, the sources said the Paris meeting is considered “postponed and not cancelled.”

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French-Saudi-Turkish-Qatari Consultations in Paris to Reach Solution to Lebanese Crisis

A meeting between the French, Saudi Arabia, Turkish, and Qatari foreign ministers is expected to be held in Paris on Sunday in order to reach a solution to the Lebanese political crisis, reported the daily An Nahar Sunday.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to also join these talks, in a sign of France’s determination to continue efforts that would ensure Lebanon’s stability and sovereignty.

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Sarkozy Adamant to Guarantee Lebanon’s Stability as Arab Officials Rush to Paris

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is reportedly adamant to continue contacts with friendly Arab countries to guarantee Lebanon’s stability following the collapse of the government and signs that the March 8 forces would have the upper hand in forming the new cabinet.

Pan-Arab daily al-Hayat quoted French sources as saying that “Sarkozy is determined to continue efforts along with Arab countries friendly to Paris (to guarantee) the stability of Lebanon.”

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Pietton Meets Hariri, Lauds His Latest Speech

French Ambassador to Lebanon Denis Pietton on Friday saluted "the unwavering commitment … that was expressed by the caretaker prime minister in the solemn and dignified speech that he delivered" Thursday.

"I visited caretaker Prime Minister (Saad Hariri) to discuss the serious political crisis that Lebanon is going through today," Pietton said after talks with Hariri at the Center House in downtown Beirut.

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Bin Laden Links Fate of French Hostages to Afghan Pullout, Paris Remains Adamant

Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden said the release of two French hostages in Afghanistan depends on a pullout of their country's soldiers and warned Paris of a "high price" for its policies, in a tape broadcast on Friday.

"We repeat the same message to you: The release of your prisoners in the hands of our brothers is linked to the withdrawal of your soldiers from our country," said the speaker on the audiotape broadcast on Al-Jazeera television.

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Paris Keen on Solving Lebanon Crisis but Reportedly Facing Syrian Obstruction

Efforts are underway by France to launch an initiative to solve the Lebanese crisis following the government's collapse but Syria has reportedly rejected a French mediation.

"Paris is keen on solving the Lebanese crisis through dialogue with the different Lebanese sides and with this country's neighbors," French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie told pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat in remarks published Friday.

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WikiLeaks' Site Back with Swiss Address after 6 Hours

The whistleblower website WikiLeaks was back on line Friday with a new Swiss address -- wikileaks.ch -- six hours after its previous domain name -- wikileaks.org -- was shut down.

"WikiLeaks moves to Switzerland," the group declared on Twitter, although an Internet trace of the new domain name suggested that the site itself is still hosted in Sweden and in France.

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Sarkozy Meets Hariri in Latest Effort to Support Lebanese Sovereignty and Justice

Prime Minister Saad Hariri kicks off a three-day official visit to Paris on Tuesday in what is seen as the most significant step in international efforts aimed at stirring Lebanon away from its crisis.

“The French leadership will inform PM Hariri that it stands by him and his government,” French diplomatic sources told al-Mustaqbal newspaper.

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Berri: Security Agreement with France Won't Be Adopted Without Lebanon's Definition of Terror

Speaker Nabih Berri has warned that a security agreement with France would not be adopted unless the Lebanese definition of terrorism was included in it.

"Lebanon defines terrorism differently than France. We believe Israel is the heart of terror and those who help it and support the occupation of Arab land … contribute to terrorism as well," Berri told An Nahar in remarks published Wednesday.

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Wacky World Cup Bets Get Punters Going

Drugs scandals, shark attacks, head-butting, insults, stamping on someone's genitals and the appearance of Jesus Christ: these are just some of the things which can be bet on at the World Cup.

British bookmakers -- who are predicting they will handle a record-breaking one billion pounds (1.2 billion euros, 1.4 billion dollars) on the tournament -- are taking bets on all manner of bizarre events in South Africa.

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