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Williams Tells Berri that Cabinet Should Represent Interests of All Lebanese

United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams stressed to Speaker Nabih Berri on Tuesday the need for the formation of a cabinet that has “the broadest possible base.”

“I underlined with the speaker the need for the new government to have the broadest possible base and to represent the interests of all Lebanese,” Williams said after meeting Berri in Ain el-Tineh.

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Geagea: New Majority is Syria and Hizbullah, Miqati Didn’t Make Real Proposal on Cabinet Structure

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said Tuesday that he conveyed to PM-designate Najib Miqati March 14 alliance’s fears of the new majority that he dubbed as Syria and Hizbullah.

Geagea told reporters in Maarab that he informed Miqati during a meeting they held at the PM-designate’s residence in Verdun on Monday that the March 14 forces had no problem with him as a person.

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Report: Miqati to Launch Consultations with March 8 Bloc Leaders after 3 Days of Negotiations with March 14

Premier-designate Najib Miqati has given himself three days to conduct consultations with major March 14 parties to receive a final answer from them on whether they want to participate in his government or not, a high-ranking March 8 official said.

The official’s visitors told pan-Arab daily al-Hayat that Miqati’s consultations have already started with a meeting with Phalange party leader Amin Gemayel.

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Miqati: I Don’t Follow Anyone’s Agenda

Premier-designate Najib Miqati has stressed that he doesn’t “follow anyone’s agenda” even if Hizbullah and its allies brought him to power.

“I have a friendship with Hizbullah and I also have contacts outside of Lebanon, but it doesn’t mean I follow anyone’s agenda,” Miqati, 55, said in an interview with Bloomberg at his Beirut office.

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March 14 Tasks Geagea to Negotiate with Miqati, 2 Men Hold Meeting in Verdun

Premier-designate Najib Miqati reportedly held two-hour talks with Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea at his residence in Verdun on Monday night.

An Nahar daily said Tuesday that Geagea also stayed for dinner. The LF leader reportedly told the prime minister-designate that he was mandated by the March 14 forces to negotiate with him.

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EU Ready to Provide Further Funding, Says Tribunal should Continue its Work without Impediment

Europe's foreign ministers have reaffirmed their commitment to the international tribunal as an independent court and expressed readiness to provide it further funding.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon “must continue its work without impediment and with the cooperation of the Lebanese government,” the ministers said in a statement following one-day talks in Brussels on Monday.

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‘Serious’ Consultations Underway between Miqati and Phalange to ‘Test Intentions’

Serious consultations are underway between Premier-designate Najib Miqati and the two main Christian parties in the March 14 forces -- the Phalange and the Lebanese Forces -- to mull their participation in the new cabinet.

High-ranking Phalange party officials told An Nahar daily in remarks published Tuesday that dialogue between the two sides was “serious” and that contacts started between Miqati and Phalange leader Amin Gemayel through telephone conversations and several meetings.

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Bellemare to Fransen: Lebanese Law Applicable in Defining Crimes, STL to Resort to Int'l Law Only if Necessary

Special Tribunal for Lebanon Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare on Monday responded to the "preliminary questions of law" raised by Pre-Trial Judge Daniel Fransen after the prosecutor filed a confidential indictment in the Hariri murder for confirmation.

Fransen is tasked with confirming the charges in the indictment filed under seal by Bellemare on January 17, and is allowed to ask the tribunal's organs questions of a legal nature in the process of doing so.

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Qassem: Lebanon More Powerful than Ever, it Affirmed its Protection of the Resistance

Hizbullah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem stressed on Monday that Lebanon is now powerful than it has ever been, as it has it has stood strong before "the winds of U.S. hegemony".

He added that Israel's threats against Lebanon have also weakened, emphasizing the Resistance's readiness to confront all challenges.

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Russian Ambassador after Meeting Franjieh: We Will Maintain Our Approach towards Lebanon

Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin announced Monday that Russia will maintain its “supportive approach” towards Lebanon.

He said after holding talks with Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh: “We always want Lebanon to be a free, sovereign, and independent country, which is why we support all efforts that help Lebanon head on the democratic path.”

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