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Safadi: We Reject Defiant Rhetoric, Residents of Tripoli Support Dialogue and Moderation

Minister of Economy and Trade Mohammad al-Safadi condemned on Monday statements issued from Tripoli on Sunday on the occasion of the Muslim New Year, describing them as defiant rhetoric.

He stressed that he opposes any challenge that may drag the country into a cycle of challenges and retaliations, adding that the residents of Tripoli support moderation and dialogue.

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Raad: We Don’t Issue Threats, But Matters Will Develop Negatively, which Will Threaten Stability

The head of the Loyalty to the Resistance bloc MP Mohammad Raad stated on Sunday that the other camp “should reconsider its calculations and review its choices because the country will be shaken up.”

He said: “I am warning them, we are not issuing threats, but the way things are, matters will develop in a negative manner that would threaten the country’s stability.”

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Berri Hopes for International Resolution Banning Cluster Bombs

House Speaker Nabih Berri hoped on Monday that the United Nations Security Council would devise a resolution that would ban the use of cluster bombs, adding that the decision should be binding to all nations, starting with Israel.

He said after holding talks with an international delegation that Israel dropped more than a million cluster bombs over southern Lebanon after the release of U.N. Security Council resolution 1701, which has caused some 400 injuries and deaths.

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Jumblat: Fiery Statements Do Not Solve Pending Issues and Accumulating Problems

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat noted on Monday that fiery statements do not help resolve pending issues and accumulating problems in Lebanon.

Addressing the recent storm that hit Lebanon, he said in his weekly editorial in the PSP-affiliated al-Anbaa magazine that the lack of planning and management to execute necessary water projects is “unjustified.”

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Geagea: Transferring False Witnesses File to Justice Council Attempt to Limit STL's Functioning

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea stated that the decision to "transfer what they call they 'false witnesses file' to the justice council is an attempt limit the Special Tribunal for Lebanon's functioning."

He told Nile Live Egyptian television that Hizbullah and its allies are insistent on boycotting Cabinet as long as the government does not take a certain legal measure that limits the STL's jurisdiction, adding: "The solution does not lie in surrendering to the other camp's conditions … if we surrender to Hizbullah and its allies, then we are taking Lebanon to a major disaster," he said.

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Hizbullah Escalates Rhetorical Attacks

The Hizbullah-led Opposition has stepped up it rhetoric against the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, reiterating that a settlement to the crisis should precede the indictments.

Sheikh Naim Qassem believed that the STL was "dedicated to eliminate Hizbullah."

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Opposition Meets Monday to Take United Stance ahead of Crucial Cabinet Meeting

The Hizbullah-led Opposition will hold a coordination meeting Monday evening to take a united stance on this week's Cabinet meeting, the daily An-Nahar.

As-Safir, for its part, said the Opposition meeting -- to be attended by the political advisors of Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Speaker Nabih Berri -- will discuss the options available to deal with Wednesday's Cabinet session.

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False Witnesses' Issue to be Discussed in Cabinet, But No Agreement, Report

Cabinet will meet on Wednesday to discuss the thorny false witnesses' issue, but no agreement is expected to be reached, the daily As-Safir reported Monday.

It said President Michel Suleiman was exerting efforts to reconcile differences between the two political camps over this issue.

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Gebran Tueni Remembered: God Will Judge All Men

Tueni's family and the family of An-Nahar newspaper held a memorial on Sunday to mark the fifth anniversary of the assassination of MP and journalist Gebran Tueni at St. Georges Cathedral in downtown Beirut.

"Gebran Tueni never bartered his principles or sold his conscious," Orthodox Archbishop of Beirut Elias Aude said during his sermon.

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Fatima Issawi Quits STL

Fatima al-Issawi on Sunday announced her resignation from the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, citing "professional reasons."

"I announce my resignation as a spokesperson for the STL for professional reasons," Issawi said in a statement delivered to the state-run National News Agency.

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