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Phalange Party Questions Govt. Silence over Soleimani’s Statements on Lebanon

Phalange Party politburo condemned on Monday the statements of Iran's Quds Force, Brig. Gen. Qasem Soleimani on Lebanon, questioning the government’s silence on the matter.

It said in a statement after its weekly politburo meeting headed by party chief Amin Gemayel: “For how long will the state maintain such a cowardly approach?”

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Jumblat: Lebanon Should Keep Quiet over Syria Instead of Proposing Solutions to Crisis

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat criticized on Monday Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour’s position on the Syrian crisis, saying that it is harming Lebanon’s credibility.

He said in his weekly editorial in the PSP-affiliated al-Anbaa magazine: “If only Lebanon’s envoy at the Arab League meetings would remain silent over the Syrian crisis instead of proposing solutions to the unrest.”

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Mansour: Dialogue between Syrian Opposition, Leadership Will End Country’s Crisis

Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour stated on Monday that Lebanon chose to distance itself from the Arab League decision on Syria that was taken on Sunday.

He said: “Dialogue between the Syrian opposition and leadership will end the country’s crisis.”

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Arrest Warrants Issued against Owners of Collapsed Ashrafiyeh Building

Beirut Examining Magistrate Ghassan Owaidat issued on Monday two arrest warrants against Michel and Claude Saadeh, the owners of the Ashrafiyeh building that collapsed on January 15 and left 27 dead.

Owaidat first questioned Michel at around 11:00 am in the presence of his lawyer Rabih Abdul Sater, the National News Agency reported.

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Miqati: Revenue from Oil Excavation Will Primarily Serve to Lower Public Debt

Prime Minister Najib Miqati stressed on Monday the importance of setting up an independent fund for petroleum and gas excavation.

He said at an event sponsored by the Association of Banks in Lebanon: “This fund will be strictly aimed at lowering Lebanon’s public debt.”

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Suleiman Relays to Ahmadinejad Keenness on Ties Based on Mutual Respect

President Michel Suleiman sent a clear message to his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday about Lebanon’s keenness on the mutual respect in their bilateral relations.

A statement issued by the presidential palace, said Suleiman discussed with Iranian ambassador Ghazanfar Roknabadi the latest controversial remarks of the commander of Iran's Quds Force, Brig. Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

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Delegation from Beirut and Tripoli Bar Associations Visits STL

A delegation of 29 Lebanese lawyers from the Beirut and Tripoli Bar associations began a working visit in The Hague on Monday, announced the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s press office in a statement.

In addition to the STL, the group will visit the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the International Court of Justice, and the International Criminal Court, it added.

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Report: Most Lebanese Expatriates Not Willing to Participate in 2013 Polls

The Foreign Ministry prepared a report concerning the numbers of Lebanese expatriates expected to vote during the 2013 parliamentary elections, An Nahar newspaper reported on Monday.

The foreign Ministry based its information on reports prepared by more than 70 Lebanese missions around the world on the number of expatriates expected to vote.

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Report: Bellemare to Discuss with Charbel Results of Lebanese Probe

Special Tribunal for Lebanon Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare is expected to hold a series of talks with Lebanese officials during a two-day farewell visit to Beirut on Thursday.

An Nahar daily said Monday that Bellemare will discuss with Interior Minister Marwan Charbel the results of the investigations carried out by the Lebanese security agencies on issues linked to the court’s work.

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Berri Urges Bassil to Unveil Identity of those Obstructing Implementation of Power Projects

Speaker Nabih Berri urged Energy Minister Jebran Bassil to come up with a clear plan to resolve the electricity crisis, saying parliament has done its part in endorsing a draft law.

Several newspapers on Monday quoted Berri as telling his visitors that he rejected claims by Bassil about deterioration in the electricity situation in the future.

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