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Al-Mustaqbal, March 8 Rattle Sabers Over Demand to Summon Syrian Envoy

The war of words between al-Mustaqbal movement and the March 8 forces seems not to be abating after Caretaker Foreign Minister Ali al-Shami said a cabinet session should be held to meet the demands of al-Mustaqbal to summon the Syrian ambassador.

Al-Shami’s press office said Tuesday that “the issue of summoning the Syrian ambassador … requires a cabinet session.”

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Berri Says Cabinet 'Gift' After Easter, Formation Needs a ‘Prayer for the Dead’

Speaker Nabih Berri said after meeting with President Michel Suleiman at Baabda palace on Wednesday that the cabinet formation “gift” on the occasion of the holidays “is on its way but would arrive after Easter.”

Berri also held talks with Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati on Tuesday night.

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Qahwaji: Security of Lebanon, Syria Intertwined

Army Chief Gen. Jean Qahwaji has reportedly told top military officers that both Lebanon and Syria had an interest in preserving stability because the security of the two countries is interlinked.

As Safir daily said Wednesday that Qahwaji met with the officers as part of a series of talks he is planning to hold with the top military brass to discuss the latest local and regional developments.

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Reports: Christian Leaders Disagreed on Hizbullah Arms but Agreed to Meet Again

The four Christian leaders who met in Bkirki on Tuesday disagreed on Hizbullah’s weapons, An Nahar daily said, but confirmed that the officials would meet again after the Christian-Muslim summit next month.

An Nahar said Wednesday that the meeting, which was held under the sponsorship of Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi, was calm. The dialogue began with remarks by Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun who defended his alliance with Hizbullah and stressed the need to preserve it.

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Baroud: Everyone Has Right to Ask for Interior Portfolio, But Not at Expense of Those Who Worked Hard

Caretaker Interior Minister Ziad Baroud on Tuesday noted that the "obstacle hindering the cabinet formation process is not over the interior ministry portfolio," adding that "everyone has the right to demand the interior ministry portfolio," but not at the expense of people who have worked hard in the ministry's service.

Speaking to reporters after an urgent meeting for the country's Central Security Council, Baroud stressed that his ministry's employees should not be attacked. "We have a team that has worked hard in the interior ministry and it should not be treated in this manner," said Baroud.

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Fransen Holds Hearing to Examine Which Documents Bellemare Can Give to Sayyed

Special Tribunal for Lebanon Pre-Trial Judge Daniel Fransen on Tuesday held a confidential hearing relating to the request by former General Security chief Maj. Gen. Jamil Sayyed to obtain documents that relate to his file and which he believes are in the possession of STL Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare, STL’s press office announced.

“The hearing examined which of these documents the Prosecutor should hand over to Mr. Sayyed,” the press office noted in a statement.

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Mustaqbal Calls on Shami to Summon Syria’s Ambassador to Lebanon So he May Clarify his Recent Statements

The Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc condemned on Tuesday Syria’s accusations against MP Jamal al-Jarrah that he was funding a terrorist cell stirring unrest in Syria.

It said in a statement after its weekly meeting: “The movement and its bloc have not and do not intend on meddling in the developments in Syria.”

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Aoun: Atmosphere in Bkirki was Positive, But the Ice Was Not Broken

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun described the atmosphere at Tuesday’s Christian meeting as “positive and reassuring”.

He said after the movement’s weekly meeting: ““The ice was not broken, but a discussion that may turn into a dialogue was launched, and this is comforting to the Lebanese.”

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Bahrain Returns Confiscated Lebanese Passports

Bahrain on Tuesday returned confiscated passports to Lebanese citizens and allowed them to remain in Manama, days after expelling more than a dozen mainly Shiite Lebanese over "security concerns."

"Bahraini authorities have returned the passports of a number of Lebanese citizens living there after having confiscated them in preparation for their expulsion," a foreign ministry source in Beirut told Agence France Presse on Tuesday.

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Suleiman Meets Estonian Foreign Minister: Capture of Kidnappers Would Clear Everything

President Michel Suleiman held talks with Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet in the Baabda palace on Tuesday.

Paet expressed his gratitude to the Lebanese security forces’ efforts in searching for the seven kidnapped Estonian cyclists.

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