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Miqati Frustrated Over Attempts to Hold him Responsible for Cabinet Formation Delay

Premier-designate Najib Miqati has expressed frustration over the attempts of some parties to hold him responsible for the delay in the formation of the new government.

An Nahar daily said Sunday the prime minister-designate believes that these parties are taking advantage of Miqati’s decision not to make any statement by throwing accusations at him and linking the delay to personal interests or pressure from Syria.

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Report: France Informed Suleiman that he Should Play Balancing Role in Lebanon

France informed President Michel Suleiman that he has a pivotal role in guaranteeing a balance of power between the different political factions in the country, pan-Arab daily al-Hayat reported Sunday.

Informed French sources told the newspaper that President Nicolas Sarkozy sent a letter to his Lebanese counterpart with his envoy Patrice Paoli, stressing that Paris considers Suleiman a “guarantor of institutions.”

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Woman Killed in Bourj al-Barajneh Celebratory Gunfire

A woman was killed in Beirut’s southern suburbs on Saturday night from celebratory gunfire during Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s televised statement.

The National News Agency said Suaad Abdullah Bashir, 47, was severely injured at 9:30 pm in Bourj al-Barajneh’s Othman street.

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March 14 Says Cabinet Would be Formed According to Hizbullah’s Wishes

A March 14 official has stressed that the new government would be shaped according to Hizbullah’s will unlike what the Shiite party leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has claimed.

In remarks to An Nahar newspaper on Sunday, the officials said: “The cabinet will not be as (Premier-designate Najib) Miqati wants it to be. It will surely be a government based on Hizbullah’s desires.”

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Israeli Official Warns from the Threat of ‘Hizbullastan’

Head of the Israeli defense ministry's political-security bureau Amos Gilad has said that Iran and Syria were supplying Hizbullah with missiles via planes and ships, adding that the Shiite party has more than 45,000 missiles.

“This poses a threat to Israel,” Gilad told the Kuwaiti al-Rai daily in remarks published Sunday.

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Nasrallah Slams Hariri for Making ‘Big Mistake’ of Harming Ties with Iran

Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah expressed pride in the party’s ties with Iran and slammed Caretaker Premier Saad Hariri for allegedly “making a big mistake” in harming Lebanon’s relations with Tehran.

“We are proud of our relationship and alliance with Iran and Syria,” Nasrallah said in a statement broadcast on television on Saturday night.

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Suleiman Meets Baroud, Calls for Calming Political Rhetoric and Returning to Dialogue

President Michel Suleiman stressed on Saturday the need for calming the political rhetoric in Lebanon and returning to dialogue.

He said: “Internal affairs can only be settled through dialogue, cooperation, and national consensus.”

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Foreign Ministry Delegation Begins Flying Lebanese Expatriates to Accra ahead of Returning them to Lebanon

The Lebanese Foreign Ministry delegation, headed by foreign ministry director general Haitham Joumaa, began on Saturday evacuating Lebanese expatriates in the Ivory Coast from Abidjan airport to the airport in Ghana’s capital Accra.

Joumaa informed the National News Agency in a telephone call from Abidjan airport that a Boeing 737 has been rented to transport 200 passengers to Accra over a two-phase operation.

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WikiLeaks: Israeli Official: U.S. Support for Lebanese Army Weakens Israel

Head of the Israeli Defense Ministry’s Political-Military Affairs department Amos Gilad has reportedly said that U.S. support for the Lebanese army will weaken Israel.

“A strengthened Lebanese army hurts Israel,” Gilad stressed.

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New Structure for Miqati’s Cabinet, Defense and Interior Ministries Portfolios Must Remain under President’s Authority

The daily An Nahar reported on Saturday that the latest government structure that was agreed upon called for granting Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun ten ministers, President Michel Suleiman and Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat eleven, and the rest of the March 8 camp nine ministers.

The Interior Ministry portfolio would be granted to a figure agreed upon by all sides and who is not affiliated with any of the political powers.

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