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Jumblat Slams Saniora, Advises Hariri to Learn Geopolitics

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat accused former Premier Fouad Saniora of hoping for the failure of Saad Hariri as prime minister so that he returns to the premiership.

In an interview with the Qatari al-Watan daily on Monday, Jumblat said: “If I was Sheikh Saad I would have participated in Najib Miqati’s government without hesitation.”

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Phalange Reportedly Heading Towards Participation in Miqati’s Cabinet

Premier-designate Najib Miqati held talks with Phalange party leader Amin Gemayel on Sunday night, sources close to the billionaire businessman told An Nahar daily.

Miqati had held a telephone conversation with Gemayel before the alleged meeting.

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Assad Pleased that ‘Transition Between 2 Lebanese Governments Happened Smoothly’

Syrian President Bashar Assad said he was pleased with the “smooth transition” between the two Lebanese governments, unveiling that any conflict would have evolved into civil war in Lebanon.

"What pleases me is that this transition between the two governments happened smoothly, because we were worried," Assad told The Wall Street Journal in a rare interview published Monday.

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Miqati’s Cabinet Might Not See Light before Hariri’s Murder Anniversary

Premier-designate Najib Miqati might not form his government before the 6th anniversary of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s assassination, media reports said Monday.

Political circles following up the contacts on cabinet formation ruled out in remarks to An Nahar daily a final government line-up before mid February.

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EU Expected to Announce Readiness to Fund Tribunal

Europe's foreign ministers are expected on Monday to stress the importance of funding the international tribunal and express readiness to look into ways to support it financially.

An Nahar daily said the European External Action Service (EEAS) would call in its statement for the formation of a Lebanese government that preserves national unity.

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Berri Snaps Back at Hariri, Saying Order to Bring Down Government Came from U.S. Not Syria

Speaker Nabih Berri snapped back at former Premier Saad Hariri on Monday rejecting accusations that Syria and Iran have brought down his government.

Hariri said Saturday that "enormous" pressure from outside Lebanon was to blame for the collapse of his cabinet earlier this month.

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Protesters at Egypt Embassy in Beirut Demand Mubarak Resign

More than 200 people rallied outside the Egyptian embassy in Beirut on Sunday, calling for the resignation of embattled President Hosni Mubarak as protests in Egypt raged for a sixth straight day.

"Mubarak is an Israeli puppet," and "Gamal, tell your father that the Egyptian people hate him," protesters chanted during the student-led demonstration in Beirut.

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First Batch of Lebanese Evacuated from Egypt Arrives in Beirut

The first Middle East Airlines plane carrying 170 Lebanese nationals who were evacuated from Egypt arrived in Beirut Sunday afternoon, state-run National News Agency reported.

It said MEA planned to make two more trips to Cairo tonight to bring home more Lebanese nationals wanting to leave Egypt.

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PSP: Leaks Proved Tribunal Deviated from Course of Justice

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat said Sunday that the party’s political stances that were discussed during a general assembly meeting will be unveiled in a statement.

Talking to reporters following the meeting at the Beau Rivage hotel, Jumblat said: “There is nothing new to say. The results of the meeting will be announced in a statement.”

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Arab-Israeli Gets 9 Years for Allegedly Spying for Hizbullah

A prominent Arab-Israeli human rights activist was sentenced to nine years in jail on Sunday after pleading guilty to spying for Hizbullah, an Israeli court official said.

Ameer Makhoul was convicted last October of espionage and aggravated espionage on the basis of a plea bargain in which the prosecution dropped a charge of assisting the enemy in time of war.

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