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Hariri Says Ousted by 'Foreign Orders', Not Parliamentary Consultations

Outgoing premier Saad Hariri on Saturday held broad consultations with March 14 leaders and economic and popular figures before presiding over a meeting for Mustaqbal Movement's politburo that was dedicated to discussing the latest political developments, his press office said.

"The Mustaqbal Movement stresses its commitment to the democratic course," a statement issued after Mustaqbal's politburo meeting said, noting that "the parliamentary consultations conducted by the president" were held amid "fierce foreign pressures aimed at changing the rules of the democratic game."

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UNIFIL: Latest Developments Don’t Threaten Lebanon’s Future

United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon commander General Alberto Asarta expressed optimism that the Lebanese will be able to resolve their internal disputes without foreign intervention.

He said in an interview to the daily An Nahar published Saturday that the latest developments in Lebanon will not pose a danger to the country’s future or UNIFIL troops deployed in the South, which he said is “still the most stable region in Lebanon.”

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Hariri to Miqati: I Haven’t Agreed to a Thing as Long as Saudi-Syrian-Turkish-Qatari Efforts Have Failed

Sources close to caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri revealed that he had informed Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati during the parliamentary consultations “that I have not agreed on anything” as long as the Saudi-Syrian initiative and the Qatari-Turkish efforts to end the Lebanese political crisis have failed, reported the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat Saturday.

He added addressing Miqati: “Based on that, no one should put words in my mouth or quote me as saying that I have agreed to this point or that. I ask you not to quote me as agreeing on anything as I gave not agreed to a thing and anything other than that is not true.”

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Saudi Arabia: Travel Warning to Our Citizens was Related to Events at the Time, Today it No Longer Stands

Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awadh Asiri stated on Friday that the Kingdom’s travel warning for its citizens against heading to Lebanon was related to events at the time, but now that matters have calmed down, it is no longer necessary.

The ambassador made his statements after holding talks with Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati.

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Britain Refuses to Label Miqati’s Government as Hizbullah’s: We are Not Striking Deals to Halt Justice

British Foreign Minister William Hague refused to label the new government headed by Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati as a “Hizbullah government,” saying that the new premier is not affiliated with the party.

He told al-Watan Online that the Cabinet encompasses a wide alliance in Lebanon that does not strictly include Hizbullah, stressing that the government should be judged by its actions.

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Suleiman to Receive Results of Consultations: No Room for Spite in Miqati’s Government

President Michel Suleiman is expected to hold talks on Saturday morning at the Baabda palace with Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati on the results of his consultations with parliamentary blocs and MPs.

Suleiman’s visitors reported him as saying that the issues of dispute between the Lebanese, especially those linked to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, should be resolved through dialogue.

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European Diplomat Says No Deal Appointed Miqati: Hizbullah Doesn’t Want to Control Govt. But Influence it

A high-ranking European diplomatic denied that a French-Qatari deal was behind the appointment of Najib Miqati as prime minister-designate, saying that France, like other western countries, is monitoring the “worrisome situation” in Lebanon.

He told the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat in remarks published on Saturday that Miqati is faced with a number of tests regarding the formation of a new Lebanese government, as well as challenges in how he deals with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

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Army Helicopter Makes Emergency Landing in Akkar after Malfunction

A Lebanese army helicopter made an emergency landing Friday on the outskirts of the Akkar town of Jdeidet al-Qaitaa due to a technical malfunction.

No one was hurt in the incident as a maintenance team from the Qleiat Air Base arrived on the scene.

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Williams Meets Hariri, Hopes Lebanon Will Uphold International Obligations

Outgoing premier Saad Hariri held talks Friday evening at the Center House with U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams.

"We had a very good meeting. I underlined the importance of maintaining calm and stability in Lebanon during this period. As I have always said, all parties need to work together and engage in dialogue to resolve outstanding differences, no matter how sensitive," Williams said after the meeting.

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Frenchman Killed in Qornet al-Sawda Avalanche, 10 Skiers Escape Unhurt

A French man was killed in an avalanche on Lebanon's highest mountain peak on Friday while 10 other skiers escaped unharmed, officials and a witness said.

The French embassy confirmed to Agence France Presse that one of its citizens had been killed in an accident in Qornet al-Sawda, which overlooks the Cedars of north Lebanon and the eastern Bekaa Valley.

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