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Al-Rahi Says his Paris Statements Don’t Reflect his Personal Stances

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi urged the Lebanese on Tuesday to forget about his statements that were allegedly taken out of context and stressed his rejection of differences in Lebanon and abroad.

At the start of his visit to the Upper Metn region, al-Rahi said: “We don’t want to shatter anyone. Lebanon needs all its citizens, parties, movements and sects.”

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STL: Victims Seeking to Take Part in Trial Must File Applications before Oct. 31

Special Tribunal for Lebanon Pre-Trial Judge Daniel Fransen ruled on Thursday that victims’ applications to participate in the trial relating to the February 14, 2005 assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri should, barring exceptional circumstances, be filed before October 31, 2011.

The STL said in a statement on Tuesday: “This deadline for filing the participation requests is aimed in particular at allowing those persons who having been granted the status of a victim participating in the proceedings, to make known ‘their views and concerns’ from the start of the pre-trial stage of the case.”

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Bassil to Miqati: Forgiving Errors Will Not Lead to Government’s Success

Energy Minister Jebran Bassil stated on Monday that the prime minister cannot keep on covering up state employee errors over their sectarian affiliations.

He told MTV: “We have an opportunity to achieve issues we had never done before, but forgiving mistakes will not lead to the government’s success.”

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Officials Holding Closed-Door Discussions over STL Funding

Lebanese officials are holding closed-door talks as the deadline for Lebanon’s payment of its share of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon funds approaches, As Safir newspaper reported Tuesday.

Ministerial sources told the newspaper that the officials aim at finding an appropriate solution for the issue “to protect the government from any repercussions and Lebanon’s relations with the international community.”

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Jumblat-Hizbullah Ties in Tatters over al-Rahi’s Statements

Relations between Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat and Hizbullah seem to be reaching an all-time low after the Shiite party’s al-Manar TV station slammed the Druze leader for criticizing Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi.

Al-Manar said in reference to Jumblat in its newscast on Monday that some officials remain steadfast in their stances while others tend to swing to adjust to the “regional winds.”

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Catholic Patriarchs Might Take a United Stance from Regional Developments

Bkirki might host a meeting for Catholic church leaders to take a united stance from the developments in the region and their repercussions on Christians, involved sources told An Nahar daily published Tuesday.

The sources said that the seat of the Maronite church might host a meeting of Catholic patriarchs to garner support for Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi’s fears from the threat that the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria poses to Christians there.

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Berri Slams Opposition’s Verbal Attack on Maronite Patriarch

Speaker Nabih Berri expressed discontent on Tuesday over the violent verbal attack against Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi by the March14-led opposition.

“His eminence realizes what’s happening in Syria and the region, and his only aim is to protect the Christians and all the Lebanese,” Berri told An Nahar newspaper.

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Report: Geagea Mulling to Boycott Christian Leaders Meeting in Bkirki

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea and Phalange party chief Amin Gemayel are mulling to suspend their participation in a meeting of top Maronite political leaders scheduled to be held in Bkirki later this month.

LF sources told An Nahar daily published Tuesday that the party’s leadership is considering Geagea’s boycott of the meeting on Sept. 23 over Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi’s latest remarks on Hizbullah and the Syrian crisis.

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Al-Rahi Holds Talks with Aoun, March 14 Officials

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi on Monday held separate talks at the seat of the Maronite church in Bkirki with Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun and several March 14 camp officials.

“It is normal to visit His Eminence to wish him well after his safe return (from France), and of course it is not something unusual for us to back his stances, because he is the one entrusted with the Synod for Lebanon and the Synod for the Middle East,” said Aoun after the talks.

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Fierce Clashes between Hizbullah, Palestinian Elements near Borj al-Barajneh

Fierce machinegun clashes between a Lebanese group and a Palestinian group are still ongoing since 7:00 pm in the “Kurds neighborhood” on the outskirts of the Beirut southern suburb of Borj al-Barajneh, state-run National News Agency reported.

“Security forces have not been able to reach the place due to the intensity of the clashes,” NNA added.

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