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Jumblat Fears U.S. will Avenge Syria by Imposing Sanctions on Lebanon

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat has expressed fears that the U.S. will settle scores with Syria in Lebanon through targeting the new Lebanese cabinet.

“According to the opposition and the so-called international community, this is Hizbullah’s cabinet, which means Syria’s (government),” Jumblat told al-Akhbar newspaper on Tuesday. “Then avenging Damascus would be by a fierce battle through imposing sanctions on Lebanon.”

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March 14 Officials Discuss with Hariri New Platform after '2nd Stage of Coup'

Meetings held between top March 14 officials and former Premier Saad Hariri in Paris were aimed at finding ways to confront the new cabinet “after the constitutional coup entered its second stage,” said a high-ranking official in the coalition on Tuesday.

The March 14 forces had said that the collapse of Hariri’s cabinet in January was the result of a coup staged by Hizbullah and its allies. In remarks to al-Liwaa newspaper, the official considered the formation of Prime Minister Najib Miqati’s government as the second stage of the coup.

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Suleiman Says Cabinet Lifespan Hinges on Performance, Vows to Hold Accountable Violators

President Michel Suleiman has said the containment of the deadly clashes in the northern port city of Tripoli last week were “a sign that the cabinet is capable of preserving stability,” stressing that its lifespan depends on the level of its performance.

In his first interview after the formation of Premier Najib Miqati’s government, Suleiman told An Nahar daily published Tuesday that the Tripoli “test succeeded in (enabling the cabinet) to hold a grip on the security situation."

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Phalange Holds Cabinet Responsible for Any Confrontation with International Community

The Phalange Party stated on Monday that the clashes in Tripoli would not have erupted had the Lebanese parties maintained their neutrality regarding the developments in Syria.

It said in a statement after its weekly politburo meeting: “It’s unfortunate that Syria is maintaining its negative policies towards Lebanon instead of tackling its accumulating internal affairs and introducing reform before it’s too late.”

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Nahhas: Abdul Monhem Youssef’s Days in State are Numbered

Labor Minister Charbel Nahhas stated on Monday that OGERO Telecom General Manager Abdul Monhem Youssef’s days in the Lebanese state are numbered.

He said during the launching of a free internet service at the Sioufi park in Beirut: “He tried to obstruct the functioning of the Telecommunications Ministry, but we succeeded in providing this service in Sioufi park.”

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Foreign Ministry Tells Ban Lebanon Opposes Israel-Cyprus Economic Zone

Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour informed on Monday United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of Lebanon’s opposition to the agreement between Cyprus and Israel over the establishment of an economic zone between them.

He said in a letter to Ban: “The agreement is a violation of Lebanon’s sovereign and economic rights, endangering the security of the region.”

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Lieberman: Iran Involved in Lebanese Developments, Suppressing Syria Protests

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman stated on Monday that even though the international community has focused its attention on the developments in the Arab world and negotiations between Palestine and Israel, the real danger in the region comes from Iran,

Confronting this danger should be a priority for Israel’s foreign policy, he added.

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Geagea: Contacts Ongoing with March 14 to Sets Plans for Next Phase in Lebanon

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea called on Monday for the launch of a “serious investigation” into Friday’s clashes in Tripoli “instead of wasting time in laying blame on each other.”

He said before reporters that the final solution to this issue lies in making Tripoli a weapons-free city.

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Ministerial-Security Meeting on Tripoli Unrest: Security Forces Protect Civilians without Discrimination

A ministerial-security meeting was held on Monday morning under Prime Minister Najib Miqati to address the situation in the northern city of Tripoli in the aftermath of Friday’s clashes.

The meeting was attended by Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn, Interior Minister Marwan Charbel, Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji, and Internal Security Forces chief Ashraf Rifi.

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Miqati Says he is Seeking for Arms-Free Tripoli, No Compromise on Civil Peace

Prime Minister Najib Miqati said he backs calls for announcing Tripoli an arms-free city, stressing he does not differentiate between Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh districts which witnessed armed clashes on Friday.

“The situation in Tripoli is under control,” Miqati told As Safir daily published Monday. “The Lebanese army is playing its full role on the ground in cooperation with the Internal Security Forces.”

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