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Miqati Sends Sfeir Message, Patriarch Stresses Importance of PM-President Harmony

Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati sent a message to Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir, Miqati’s advisor Joe Issa al-Khoury told reporters in Bkirki on Friday.

Following talks with Sfeir, al-Khoury refused to unveil details of the message that he delivered to the patriarch.

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Lebanese-German Sues Macedonia over Alleged CIA Kidnapping

A Lebanese-German man who says he was snatched by the CIA in Macedonia and tortured at a secret prison after being mistaken for a terrorism suspect, will begin a legal battle against Macedonia Friday to demand official recognition of his ordeal.

Khaled el-Masri is seeking €50,000 ($69,000) in compensation — and an apology — from the government in Macedonia, where he says he was abducted while on a trip in 2003. His action follows failed attempts to have his case heard in court in the United States and Germany.

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Gemayel: We are Still in the Stage of Discussing General Principles

Phalange party leader Amin Gemayel threw the ball of the cabinet formation process in the March 8 court saying the alliance should facilitate the mission of Premier-designate Najib Miqati.

In his turn, Miqati should make proposals that lead to partnership and consensus on how to deal with controversial issues, Gemayel told As Safir daily in remarks published Friday.

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Franjieh Insists on 2 Portfolios, Says Country Needs Scoundrels not Technocrats

Marada movement leader Suleiman Franjieh has stressed he would participate in the cabinet only if he gets two portfolios and said the country needs “tough men” and not technocrats.

“If they don’t give me (2 portfolios) I will say thank you and won’t participate,” in the government, Franjieh told Marcel Ghanem’s Kalam al-Nass talk show on LBC TV network.

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Cabinet ‘Identity’ to be Unveiled as Soon as March 14 Announces its Decision to Miqati

Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati is expected to hold a “very important meeting” with a high-ranking March 14 official on Friday, An Nahar newspaper reported.

The cabinet’s structure and “identity” would be decided after Friday’s meeting in the aftermath of days of consultations with several March 14 members, the daily said.

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Jumblat Meets Miqati, Calls for Forming National Unity Govt

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat on Thursday held talks with Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati in Verdun, in the presence of acting public works and transport minister Ghazi Aridi.

Jumblat declined to make a statement after the meeting. However, MTV reported that talks between the two men did not tackle the distribution of portfolios in the new cabinet.

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Aoun after Meeting Miqati: We're Still Studying Cabinet Formation to Determine Distribution of Portfolios

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun stressed on Thursday after meeting Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati that "the phase of making an agreement over the distribution of portfolios in the new government has not been reached."

He instead said that the discussions over the formation of the Cabinet are still underway.

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Police, Protesters Clash at Egyptian Embassy in Beirut

More than 100 demonstrators briefly clashed with police outside the Egyptian embassy in Beirut on Thursday after they tried to break through the security cordon around the diplomatic mission, a security official said.

"Police intervened to push back the demonstrators after they tried to break through the barbed wire in order to enter the embassy," the official told Agence France Presse, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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Israel Constructs Fence around Ghajar, Talk of its Withdrawal Come to an End

Israeli troops began constructing a barbed wire fence around the southern village of Ghajar on Thursday.

A high-ranking United Nations Interim Force officer inspected the site, while a source from the international force told the Central News Agency that the issue of Ghajar is very difficult and complicated, adding that it needs time to be resolved.

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Harb: Miqati Seeks Participation of All Powers in Cabinet, He Will Face Challenges from those Who Nominated him

Caretaker Labor Minister Butros Harb stated on Thursday that Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati is attempting to allow the participation of all political powers in the new government, including the March 14 forces.

He told the Central News Agency that the March 14 camp may take part in Cabinet if Miqati respects the issue of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and Hizbullah’s arms possession, and if he ensures that the March 14 forces would be able to play an effective role in preventing decisions that would harm Lebanon.

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