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Gemayel Denies March 14 Forces Met in Paris to 'Draw Up Plan for Future'

Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel on Tuesday denied that the meetings held recently by the March 14 forces in France were aimed at “drawing up a plan for the future,” noting that “there’s no need to agree on a plan, as coordination with former premier Saad Hariri has not stopped.”

In an interview with France 24 television, Gemayel clarified that the meeting he held in Paris with Hariri was aimed at consulting with the ex-PM on “how to deal with a government controlled by Hizbullah.”

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Miqati 'Surprised' by Aoun Remarks: Unacceptable to Cross Limits of Courtesy, Respect

Prime Minister Najib Miqati on Tuesday voiced his surprise over recent remarks by Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun, stressing that “it is unacceptable to cross the limits of courtesy and respect in our political discourse.”

“It is surprising that such remarks were voiced by a responsible man such as General Aoun,” Miqati told reporters after the second meeting of the committee tasked with drafting the Policy Statement of the new government.

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Mustaqbal: Aoun’s Statements Demonstrate Extent of his Spite

The Mustaqbal bloc condemned on Tuesday the statements of Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun and those of the members of his bloc, saying that they demonstrate “the extent of their spite”.

It said in a statement after its weekly meeting: “They unveil their vengeful intentions aimed at eliminating the other, which is an approach that has been created and perfected by Hizbullah in its political practices.”

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Aoun: Only Corruptors Will Be Held Accountable, Roumieh Prison Ward Being Prepared for them

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun criticized on Tuesday the opposition’s attack on the new government, labeling it as “rude” because a new cabinet should be granted a 100-day grace period.

He said after the movement’s weekly meeting: “They didn’t appreciate our ‘one way ticket’ joke. A new ward is being prepared for them in Roumieh prison and they will be granted a ‘one way in’ ticket for it.”

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Estonian FM Quoting Suleiman: Kidnapped Estonians are Alive

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said on Tuesday that Lebanese authorities had information indicating seven Estonian cyclists kidnapped three months ago in the Bekaa Valley were still alive.

"According to the information I got from Lebanon's president, the kidnapped Estonians are alive and work to free them continues," Paet told Estonia's Kuku radio from Beirut on Tuesday.

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Lebanon Frees All Syrian Refugees Held for Not Having Identity Papers

Lebanon's authorities have released all Syrian refugees in Lebanon who had been detained for not having identity papers, activists said on Tuesday.

"Lebanese authorities have now released all Syrians who fled into Lebanon and were later detained for not having identity papers," human rights lawyer Nabil Halabi, who heads the Lebanese Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, told Agence France Presse.

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Williams Hails Berri’s ‘Positive Role’ in Formation of Cabinet

U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams welcomed on Tuesday the “positive role” played by Speaker Nabih Berri in the formation of the government.

“I welcomed the formation of the Lebanese government last week and also the particular role that Speaker Nabih Berri played, the positive role, in the formation of the government,” Williams said after holding talks with head of the Amal movement.

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Al-Rahi from Vatican: We Wish Cabinet Success to Meet People’s High Expectations

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi wished the new government success on Tuesday in order for it to meet the people’s high expectations given the crises in the Middle East.

He made his statements from the Vatican, where he arrived on Sunday to take part in the Middle East synod.

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Miqati to Diplomats: Commitment to STL Should be Coupled with Preservation of Civil Peace

Prime Minister Najib Miqati has stressed to foreign diplomats that Lebanon would remain committed to international resolutions including the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

During separate meetings he held with Arab and Asian ambassadors, and U.S. Ambassador Maura Connelly on Monday, Miqati said that Lebanon is committed to the tribunal that will try ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s suspected assassins.

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Efforts to Form Leadership Council for the North to Contain Security Incidents

Tripoli Mufti Sheikh Malek al-Shaar has hoped for the announcement of a leadership council over the weekend to contain any incident that could erupt in the northern city.

In remarks to al-Liwaa daily published Tuesday, al-Shaar said that a committee was formed on Monday after a meeting held between al-Mustaqbal bloc leader Fouad Saniora and Tripoli MPs and officials.

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