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Miqati Meets Suleiman as PM-designate Seeks ‘Comforting’ Cabinet Line-up

Premier-designate Najib Miqati visited President Michel Suleiman on Wednesday to inform him about the demands of the March 8 and 14 forces on the cabinet, An Nahar daily said.

The newspaper quoted sources as saying that both officials agreed to give contacts more time to exhaust all efforts to form a national unity cabinet or a national salvation government that includes both coalitions.

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Security Official: Egypt’s Hizbullah Cell Escaped in Prison Break

Members of the so-called Hizbullah cell convicted of plotting attacks in Egypt were among the escapees in a weekend prison break, a security official told Agence France Presse Thursday.

The 22 cell members fled on Sunday along with members of Palestinian group Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and thousands of other convicts during a mass breakout amid anti-government protests in Egypt.

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Miqati Faces Hurdle of Christian Representation as Aoun Confirms he will Get ‘Sovereign’ Portfolio

Premier-designate Najib Miqati is reportedly facing stiff demands by Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun to be granted the majority of Christian seats in the new government.

Miqati’s brother, Taha, met with Aoun in Rabiyeh on Tuesday. An Nahar said that the FPM leader sent a message to the prime minister-designate that he wants a big share that “suits the size of his parliamentary bloc and his popular representation.”

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Report: March 14 to Announce Future Objectives on Hariri’s Murder Anniversary

The March 14 forces are reportedly preparing a political document on their future objectives that they would most probably announce on the sixth anniversary of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s assassination.

Informed sources in the alliance told pan-Arab daily al-Hayat in remarks published Thursday that the March 14 forces are planning to hold a political gathering rather than a mass rally on the February 14 murder anniversary.

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Netanyahu: Does Hizbullah Promote Human Rights?

Israel's prime minister has said Iran wants to take advantage of the chaos in Egypt to create "another Gaza" there and warned that Islamic parties have already taken over power by democratic means in Iran, Lebanon and Gaza.

Speaking before the Israeli parliament on Wednesday, Benjamin Netanyahu said he expects any new government in Egypt to honor its three-decade-long peace agreement with Israel.

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Williams after Meeting Gemayel: We Hope New Government Would Respect International Commitments

U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams stressed on Wednesday the importance of dialogue in ending any dispute, commending Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati’s efforts to form a new government.

He made his statements after holding talks with Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel on the latest political developments in Lebanon and the implementation of U.N. Security Council resolution 1701.

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Geagea Says March 14 to Take Unified Stance on Miqati Govt

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on Wednesday lauded Speaker Nabih Berri's remarks made earlier in the day from the Baabda Palace about the participation of all political parties in the new cabinet without prior conditions on the shares of each side.

Geagea said Berri "has always been courteous," but wondered whether the house speaker was the one who has the last word among his allies in the March 8 camp.

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March 14: Iran Should Take Care of its Internal Affairs Instead of Ruining Arab States

The March 14 General Secretariat renewed on Wednesday its commitment to the values proposed by the March 14 forces to Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati, repeating its support to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

It said after its weekly meeting: “The STL is a central part of the Lebanese state’s commitment to protect its citizens and leaders of free thought from political assassination.”

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Berri Favors Participation of All Sides in Cabinet Without Setting Prior Conditions on Shares

Speaker Nabih Berri said Wednesday that he favored the participation of all parties in the cabinet without setting prior conditions on the shares of each side.

Following talks with President Michel Suleiman at Baabda palace, Berri said that “all former opposition parties support the premier-designate.”

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Maronite Bishops Relieved at Lebanon Calm, Express Regret at Regional Bloodshed

The Council of Maronite Bishops on Wednesday expressed gratitude that the situation in Lebanon is fine despite complications and wished Premier-designate Najib Miqati success in forming the cabinet.

“We thank God that the situation in Lebanon is fine and we wish the PM-designate success in his mission to confront the current situation,” the bishops said in a statement read by Monsignor Youssef Toq.

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