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Cabinet, Parliament to Cooperate on Political and Social Projects

Prime Minister Najib Miqati’s circles voiced their satisfaction with international positions on the new government.

The premier had held talks on Saturday with Speaker Nabih Berri, in his first activity since returning to Lebanon from vacation.

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Mashnouq: Cabinet of Hariri Murder Suspects Cannot Implement STL Decisions

Mustaqbal bloc MP Nohad al-Mashnouq described the government as being that of the suspects in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri seeing as it includes Hizbullah members.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon released the first phase of its indictment in June, as well as arrest warrants against four Hizbullah members suspected of being involved in Hariri’s 2005 assassination.

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Assad Advises Bassil to Allow Russia to Drill for Offshore Oil and Gas

Syrian President Bashar Assad requested from Energy Minister Jebran Bassil to allow Russian companies to handle drilling for oil and gas discovered in the Mediterranean Sea adjacent to Lebanon’s coast, reported the daily An Nahar on Sunday.

It said that Assad made his request when he held talks with the Lebanese minister in Damascus on Monday.

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Revealing Names of Suspects in Hariri Case ‘Routine Procedure’

Revealing the names of the suspects in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri is part of a routine procedure aimed at exhausting all methods to inform the public about suspects, explained legal sources to the daily An Nahar in remarks published on Sunday.

This way, the public is given the opportunity to report any sighting of the suspects, they added.

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Saniora Meets Suleiman: We Back Dialogue that Has a Goal, Not Just Holding Talks for Sake of it

The head of the Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc former Prime Minister Fouad Saniora stated that the bloc supports national dialogue, but on condition that it have a purpose and be able to achieve its goals.

He told An Nahar daily in remarks published on Sunday: “This matter calls for restricting the talks to addressing Hizbullah’s possession of arms according to the dialogue that was held in March 2006.”

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Hizbullah Prevents Official Security Apparatuses from Investigating Rouwais Blast

The blast that took place in the Rouwais area in Beirut’s southern suburbs was targeting former detainee in Israeli jail, Samir al-Qontar, revealed the daily An Nahar on Sunday from official security information.

It noted that the blast, which Hizbullah’s media department said was caused by the explosion of a gas canister, erupted in the neighborhood where the former prisoner lives.

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Roux: Too Soon to Verify Viability of Nasrallah’s Evidence in Hariri Murder

Head of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon Defense Office Francois Roux stated that nothing is off limits in defending suspects in the trial of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, saying that their lawyers can bring up any matter related to the case, especially regarding the legitimacy of the court and the prosecutor’s evidence.

He noted however to the Kuwaiti al-Rai newspaper in remarks published on Sunday that the transparency of the court should not be questioned at the moment because it hasn’t conducted its judicial work yet.

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Mansour: There are No Weapons in Dahieh

Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour criticized on Saturday claims of the widespread possession of arms in Lebanon, adding that “there are no weapons in Beirut’s southern suburbs.”

He said: “When we speak of weapons possession, it is as if we are saying that cities in Lebanon are filled to the brim with them.”

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Qabbani Declares Monday First Day of Ramadan

Mufti Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani declared Monday as the first day of Ramadan, the National News Agency reported.

Qabbani said on Saturday: “The new moon cannot be spotted anywhere tonight, therefore, Sunday is the last day of Shaaban (the pre-Ramadan month in Islam's lunar calendar) and Monday August 1 is the first day of Ramadan.”

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Hizbullah Says Dahieh Explosion Caused by Gas Canister as Reports Question its Nature

Hizbullah denied on Saturday reports about casualties taking place in a gas canister explosion in the Rouwais neighborhood of Beirut’s southern suburbs a day earlier.

“No one was injured in the blast, but only material damage was incurred,” Hizbullah’s media relations department said in a statement.

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