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Miqati Insists that Blocs Nominate 3 Candidates for Every Portfolio

Premier-designate Najib Miqati is holding on to his constitutional rights in forming the new cabinet, al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Saturday.

“If I began my governmental career by abandoning the constitution, what will I be left with?” his visitors quoted him as asking.

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Jumblat Calls for Fortifying Lebanon, Speeding up Cabinet Formation

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat stressed to An Nahar daily on Saturday that the new cabinet should be formed soon “in order to fortify Lebanon on the security and economic levels”.

He noted that the region is passing through a difficult period “that has many positive outcomes and some negative ones”.

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Fatah: Nakba Day Action Will Continue at Maroun al-Ras on Liberation Day

Head of Fatah’s press office Issam al-Halabi announced on Friday that the action as part of the Palestinians’ right to their homeland that were launched on the Nakba Day on Sunday will continue with a festival at Maroun al-Ras on Liberation Day on Wednesday.

He told the Central News Agency that preparations for the event are underway in cooperation with various Lebanese parties.

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Human Rights Watch: Lebanon Must Offer Syrians Asylum, Not Detention

Lebanon should grant immediate asylum to Syrians fleeing violence in their country instead of detaining them, Human Rights Watch said Friday.

"Lebanon's security forces should stop detaining Syrian refugees who cross the border into Lebanon to escape violence and persecution in their country," the New York-based rights group said.

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UNHCR: 1,400 Fled to Lebanon to Escape Syrian Unrest in Week

Some 1,400 Syrians, many of them women and children without belongings, crossed the border with Lebanon last week to join many more who have fled the unrest at home, the U.N. refugee agency said Friday.

"Most of the people who have crossed the border in recent weeks are women and children. In addition to their immediate need for food, shelter and medical help, they also need psycho-social support," UNHCR spokesman Andrej Mahecic told reporters in Geneva.

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Ali after Meeting Berri: Feltman is Not New to Lebanon, Syria is More Fortified than Before

Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali assured on Friday that Syria is more fortified than ever after the recent unrest witnessed in the Arab country.

He said after holding talks with Speaker Nabih Berri: “Matters are improving and reforms are being implemented at a fast pace.”

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Abducted Estonians Plead for Help in New Video: Our Govt Has Left Us

Seven Estonian tourists kidnapped in Lebanon two months ago pleaded for help in a video released Friday, criticizing their government for abandoning them and saying they were in "great danger".

"We are very tired and in great danger. We ask our families and all who know us to help us," one of the seven men, Kalev Kaosaar, says in the video, a link to which was published by the Estonian foreign ministry.

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Al-Rahi Meets Suleiman, Informs him of Bkirki’s Activity

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi held talks on Friday with President Michel Suleiman at the Baabda palace on Bkirki’s efforts on the Christian and national levels.

The Patriarch also presented him with an icon of the late Pope John Paul II.

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Geagea Calls for Formation of Technocratic Cabinet as it is Only Serious Solution to Crisis

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea called on Friday for the formation of a technocratic government “seeing as it is the only solution for the governmental crisis because a political one cannot be established at the moment.”

He said during the opening of the ninth session of the discussions on the LF’s internal structure: “We were hoping that parliamentary sessions would be held given the deteriorating social and economic situation, but these sessions would be illegitimate under a caretaker government.”

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Shebani Delivers Message of Support from Ahmedinejad to Suleiman, Meets Aoun

Visiting deputy Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Reza Shebani delivered a message of support from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad to his Lebanese counterpart Michel Suleiman, reported al-Jumhuriya newspaper on Friday.

The message includes the Islamic Republic's position on regional issues, while asserting its ongoing support to Lebanon.

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