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Suleiman Prepares ‘All Necessary Steps’ to Renew Salameh’s Term

President Michel Suleiman has prepared all the necessary steps to renew the term of the Central Bank governor Riyad Salameh “at the right time”, An Nahar daily reported on Monday.

The newspaper said that Suleiman is still giving the new cabinet the priority to renew Salameh’s term once it’s formed.

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Iranian Delegation in Maroun al-Ras as Army Disperses 2 Naksa Day Demos

The clashes of the Nakba Day at Maroun al-Ras were averted on Sunday as the Lebanese army prevented demonstrations, commemorating the Naksa Day, from being held, reported the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat on Monday.

The army succeeded in imposing its authority over the entire region south of the Litani River, prohibiting Palestinian and Lebanese demonstrators from heading to the southern border.

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Al-Rahi Meets Suleiman, Calls for Speeding up Govt. Formation

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi urged on Sunday the political leaders in Lebanon to speed up the government formation process.

He said in his Sunday sermon: “We hope they would immediately help the country out of the crisis through the formation of a Cabinet that would only work towards bolstering the dignity of the Lebanese people.”

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Moussawi: Need to Speed up Cabinet Formation to Thwart March 14’s Destructive Agenda

Loyalty to the Resistance bloc MP Nawwaf Moussawi stressed on Sunday the need to speed up the government formation process in order to save the country from the March 14 camp’s “destructive agenda.”

“The main motivation behind the government change was to prevent the March 14 camp from leading the country towards sectarian strife over the indictment in the investigation into the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri,” he said.

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Phalange MPs to Provide Conditional Quorum to June 8 Parliament Session

Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel announced that the party’s MPs would be willing to participate in the June 8 parliamentary session on condition that its schedule be restricted to the topic of extending the term of Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh.

This position was revealed a couple of days after he had met with Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat on Thursday night as part of the MP’s “centrist” efforts to overcome the obstacles in the government formation.

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Optimism Surrounds Government Formation: Maneuver to Oust Miqati?

Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati’s meeting on Saturday with Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s advisor, Huessin Khalil, was limited to generalities over the rules that need to be adopted in the formation of the new government, reported the daily An Nahar Sunday.

It added that Miqati has not yet received from Hizbullah and Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun their ministerial candidates.

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Berri-Miqati Contacts Severed: Ali Hasan Khalil Absent from Cabinet Talks

Speaker Nabih Berri’s advisor, MP Ali Hasan Khalil, boycotted on Saturday the latest “mediatory” meeting with Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati, leaving it up to Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s advisor, Hussein Khalil, to complete the mission of holding talks with Miqati to remove obstacles hindering the government formation.

Berri reportedly left his Ain al-Tineh residence in Beirut and headed to the South on Friday without meeting with the premier-designate as was scheduled after the later issued a statement announcing that he will not take part in the June 8 parliamentary session that the speaker had called for.

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Assad Supporters Rally in Beirut’s Southern Suburbs

Some 700 Syrians and Lebanese staged a rally in Beirut’s southern suburbs on Saturday to show their support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syrian residents of Lebanon organized the demonstration in the southern suburb of Hay al-Sellum, a bastion of Hizbullah, to display their support for Assad and his late father and predecessor, Hafez al-Assad.

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Higher Islamic Council Urges Respect for Cabinet Decisions

The Higher Islamic Council on Saturday voiced concern over the delay in the formation of the cabinet and called for the respect of decisions taken by the government.

After its weekly meeting at Dar al-Fatwa, the council reiterated the need to remain committed to nationalistic stances in terms of the preservation of national unity and the state and its constitutional institutions.

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5 Men Escape Baabda Detention Center

Five men have broken out of a detention center at Baabda’s Justice Palace, the state-run National News Agency said Saturday.

The five men made their escape at dawn Saturday after sawing a window with a sharp object, NNA said.

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