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Hoff Discusses Israeli Withdrawal from Ghajar with Qahwaji during Two-Day Visit to Beirut

U.S. Special Middle East Peace Envoy's assistant, Frederick Hoff, paid a two-day visit to Beirut earlier this week, revealed a political source to Akhbar al-Yawm on Wednesday.

A source from the U.S. Embassy told the news agency that his visit was aimed at discussing the implementation of United Nations Security Council resolution 1701.

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Lebanon Unlikely to Be Targeted by Terrorist Attack in Retaliation to Bin Laden’s Killing

Lebanon is unlikely to be targeted in retaliatory attacks over al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden’s killing, said circles close to the March 8 camp.

They told the Kuwaiti al-Rai newspaper that even the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon may not be targeted.

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Hariri Praises Palestinian Reconciliation, Calls on International Community to Comply with Needs of Palestinian Unity

Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri praised on Wednesday the reconciliation between the Fatah and Hamas Palestinian groups, describing it as a “blessed step” in the Palestinians’ people struggle.

He hoped in a statement that the agreement would pave a way to establishing a Palestinian state and national unity.

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Williams Expresses Concern to Miqati that Cabinet Formation Taking Time

U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams on Wednesday expressed support for Premier-designate Najib Miqati lamenting that the cabinet formation process was taking a long time.

“I take this opportunity to express my strong support for Najib Miqati as Prime Minister-designate and his endeavors to form a new government,” Williams said after holding talks with Miqati.

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March 14 Calls on Hizbullah to Place its Military Capabilities under State’s Control

The March 14 General Secretariat called on Hizbullah on Wednesday to place its military and security capabilities under the state’s control in order to pave the way for national reconciliation.

It said in a statement after its weekly meeting that the party should also put an end to its hostile position towards the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and respect justice.

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Ouzai Police Chief Lightly Injured after his Gun Goes Off

Chief of the Ouzai police station Ali Hassouna suffered a minor injury on Wednesday after mistakenly shooting himself near the Internal Security Forces General Directorate.

Hassouna suffered light injuries on Wednesday morning after he tried to remove his pistol from his waist, while he was in his car at the ISF headquarters courtyard in Ashrafiyeh, the National News Agency reported.

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WikiLeaks: Murr Describes Suleiman as a Coward and Conspirator during May 2008 Clashes

Defense Minister Elias Murr voiced his disappointment with the army’s performance during the May 7, 2008 clashes, describing then Army Commander Michel Suleiman as a coward, revealed a leaked U.S. Embassy cable dated May 13, 2008, published in al-Akhbar newspaper on Wednesday.

The WikiLeaks cable spoke of a meeting between Murr and then U.S. Charge d’Affaires Michele Sison during which the minister accused Suleiman of having had struck up a deal with Hizbullah in the May clashes.

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WikiLeaks: Suleiman Says Hizbullah Acted Like a Militia during May 2008 Incidents

Hizbullah committed a major mistake during the May 2008 incidents, said then Army Commander Michel Suleiman, revealed a leaked U.S. Embassy cable published exclusively in Al-Akhbar on Wednesday.

The May 12, 2008, WikiLeaks cable spoke of a meeting between Suleiman and then Charge d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy Michele Sison during which the former accused Hizbullah of militia activity.

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Public Works Committee Vows Not to Tolerate Illegal Construction Amid More Attacks on ISF

Head of the parliamentary public works committee MP Mohammed Qabbani vowed to clamp down on illegal construction in Beirut’s southern suburbs and in the south describing it as a “national disaster.”

“Let no one dream of legalizing violations. This is impossible,” Qabbani told pan-Arab daily al-Hayat in remarks published Wednesday.

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WikiLeaks: Bassil Says March 14 Main Suspects over Pierre Gemayel Assassination

An official at the U.S. embassy in Lebanon has reportedly told caretaker Energy and Water Minister Jebran Bassil that even if Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun was able to reach Baabda he would be incapable of carrying out any task because “Hizbullah will be governing the country.”

In a WikiLeaks cable dated September 25, 2006 and another one dated September 12, 2006 published in al-Joumhouria daily on Wednesday, a U.S. official said that Bassil “seemed angry and remained this way till the end of the meeting.”

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