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Bellemare Requests Video Material from Nasrallah, Defends Staff 'Impartiality'

Special Tribunal for Lebanon Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare on Monday hit back at Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah over the latter’s recent televised address in which he doubted the impartiality of the staff of Bellemare’s office.

“The staff of the OTP have been recruited on the basis of their professionalism, impartiality and expertise, and I have full confidence in their strong commitment to finding the truth,” Bellemare said in a statement.

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Berri: Indictment Won’t Lead to Justice, We Back Govt’s Position on STL

There are “political aspects” to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon indictment, whose release does not lead to justice, but rather to “creative chaos,” Speaker Nabih Berri said Monday.

“On behalf of the AMAL Movement which I head, I announce that we will back the government’s position on the indictment and the STL as per the text of the ministerial Policy Statement,” Berri said in a speech at a ceremony commemorating late Shiite cleric Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah.

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Nasrallah: STL Can’t Stand in the Way of Those Who Made History with Their Resistance

Those who have made history through their resistance and jihad against Israel “will not be impeded by the U.S.-Israeli conspiracy of the so-called (Special) Tribunal (for Lebanon), which has become behind us,” Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said Monday in a speech recited by his deputy, Sheikh Naim Qassem.

Addressing the rival March 14 forces, Nasrallah said: “Evaluate your policies which drove you out of power … and does power deserve that you incite sedition in order to recapture it?”

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March 14 Slams Miqati: Do You Need to Adopt Rhetoric of Those Who Backed You for Premiership?

The March 14 General Secretariat slammed on Monday Prime Minister Najib Miqati’s response to Sunday’s Bristol meeting, saying that it was surprised by the “premier’s ability to mislead the public.”

It said in a statement: “Miqati tried through his press office to lead the public to believe that his government is keen on achieving justice and uncovering the truth through the Special Tribunal for Lebanon based on article 14 of its policy statement.”

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Jumblat Calls for Keeping STL Out of Political Debate, Slams Opposition's Rhetoric

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat has called for keeping the thorny issue of the U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon out of the political debate in the country.

“I add my voice to that of the Mufti of the Republic, Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani, who called for keeping the issue of the STL out of the domestic political debate, in a manner that allows the consolidation of political stability, the reactivation of the work of state institutions and the addressing of people’s social demands and living conditions, without disavowing the call for justice, which is being mostly harmed by the continuous debate over it,” Jumblat said.

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Aoun: Opposition’s Plan to Incite Countries against Lebanon is Criminal

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun described on Monday the opposition’s plan to incite countries against Lebanon as “criminal,” saying that it will fail.

He said after an extraordinary meeting for the Reform and Change bloc: “They have changed their motto to ‘all against the nation.’”

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Development and Liberation Bloc: We Reject Rhetoric of Intimidation

The Development and Liberation bloc announced on Monday that it will grant Prime Minister Najib Miqati’s government the vote of confidence based on its policy statement.

It also rejected in a statement after a meeting headed by Speaker Nabih Berri the “rhetoric of intimidation and resorting to foreign powers regarding national issues and governmental affairs.”

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Miqati Says ‘Sabotaging the Nation is a Crime,’ March 14 Suffering from ‘Disorder’

Prime Minister Najib Miqati snapped back at the March 14 alliance on Monday accusing its members of carrying out a crime against the nation and attacking the cabinet for being unable to confront the truth that they lost power.

“Sabotaging the nation is a crime,” Miqati said in a statement. “It is the national responsibility of everyone to preserve civil peace and stability and not to sabotage or make fictitious heroic acts that stir tension.”

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Suleiman Meets Miqati, Decree Appointing Replacement to Arslan to be Issued Soon

President Michel Suleiman and Premier Najib Miqati held talks at Baabda palace on Monday to agree on a replacement for Talal Arslan, who has announced his resignation from the new cabinet.

Media reports said a presidential decree is expected to be issued soon naming Marwan Kheireddine as the new minister of state without portfolio.

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Riyadh and Cairo Link Justice in Hariri Case to Lebanon’s Stability

The Saudi and Egyptian foreign ministers have agreed that justice should be served in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s Feb. 2005 assassination to achieve stability in Lebanon, informed sources said.

Al-Liwaa daily quoted the sources as saying that Egyptian FM Mohammed al-Orabi and his Saudi counterpart Prince Saud al-Faisal stressed during talks they held on Sunday that the questioning of the suspects is the only way to deter the offenders and end the series of assassinations that shook Lebanon in the past years.

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