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Karami after Meeting Miqati: Nasrallah Lamented Me, But I’ll Serve This Country Till Last Breath

Following a protocol meeting with Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati on Wednesday, former premier Omar Karami called for forming “a mixed government comprising technocrats and politicians” should the March 14 camp refuse to take part in a new Cabinet.

Karami described the violent protests that took place Tuesday in Tripoli as “an episode of madness,” adding that it has blemished the image of the Mustaqbal Movement.

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Clinton, Judeh Hope Lebanese Will Sustain Independence, Sovereignty

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that Lebanese rather than foreigners should decide the country's future.

The United States has warned of effects on bilateral relations after billionaire businessman Najib Miqati was named premier-designate with the support of Hizbullah and its allies.

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U.S. Cracks Down on Lebanese Cocaine Ring

The United States on Wednesday levied sanctions against an alleged Lebanese cocaine trafficking ring, with operations spanning Latin America, West Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

The group -- led by Ayman Joumaa and including at least nine other people and 19 entities -- was said to have laundered proceeds worth as much as $200 million per month.

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Haaretz: Miqati Doesn’t Represent Hizbullah or Iran, But he is a Personal Friend of Assad

The Israeli Haaretz stated on Wednesday that Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati does not represent Hizbullah or Iran, but he is a close personal friend of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

It added that his appointment enjoyed France, the United States, Syria, and Saudi Arabia’s support, noting that the Saudi-Syrian initiative that had been devised to end Lebanon’s political crisis had “obviously” been rejected.

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Miqati Wraps Up Protocol Visits to Former PMs by Meeting Hariri

Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati concluded his protocol visits to past prime ministers by meeting former premier Saad Hariri at the Center House on Wednesday.

The meeting lasted five minutes and the two men made no statements afterwards.

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Syrian Semi-Official Daily Voices Support for Miqati

Syria's daily Al-Watan, which is close to the Damascus government, on Wednesday expressed its support for Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati and said he would bring change to the region.

The newspaper added that Lebanon had finally "uncovered the plot" hatched by the West to exploit the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) investigating the murder of former premier Rafik Hariri.

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Turkey Says Escalation Harms Lebanese, Regional Stability

Turkey on Wednesday urged Lebanese factions for restraint in the country's political turmoil, warning of broader implications on regional stability.

"We call on all parties to refrain from violence and to act with common sense and within democratic legitimacy," a foreign ministry statement said, a day after protests against the appointment of a Hizbullah-backed premier turned violent.

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Suleiman Praises Security Forces: Challenges Require Government that Can Restart State Functioning

President Michel Suleiman voiced on Wednesday his satisfaction with the restoration of calm throughout Lebanon after a day of protests against the appointment of Najib Miqati as prime minister-designate.

He commended the security forces for their role in controlling the situation on the ground and maintaining the peace.

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March 14 Rejects Cabinet that Tolerates Arms, Aims at Abolishing Tribunal

The March 14 general-secretariat announced on Wednesday its rejection of a future government that aims at abolishing the international tribunal and tolerating weapons.

“We won’t accept the cabinet because it will come to abolish the court and tolerate weapons,” said general-secretariat coordinator Fares Soaid.

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Saudi Editorialists Criticize Hariri Over Unrest

Two prominent Saudi writers criticized outgoing Lebanese premier Saad Hariri in editorials published on Wednesday, saying his supporters used sectarian language and acted like Hizbullah with violent protests.

In an editorial in Saudi-owned al-Hayat entitled "The Lebanese Opposition Cloned,” Daud al-Shiryan wrote that Hariri's bloc, which is backed by Saudi Arabia, had "used the same methods" on Tuesday as his opponents in Hizbullah and allied parties.

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