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Shami Calls on Salam Not to Approve Security Council Statement on Syria

Caretaker Foreign Minister Ali Shami called on Lebanon’s ambassador to the United Nations Nawwaf Salam to reject the Security Council’s expected draft statement on the developments on Syria.

The U.N. will discuss Syria later Tuesday.

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Four More People Charged with Kidnapping of Estonians

Government Commissioner to the Military Tribunal Judge Saqr Saqr on Tuesday charged four people with involvement in the kidnapping of the seven Estonian tourists last month.

The state-run National News Agency said that two of them were charged in absentia. Among the four people, two are Lebanese nationals.

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Al-Rahi: Church Strives to Help Politicians Reach Sainthood

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi stated Tuesday that the church seeks to help politicians adopt a more honest approach in their practices.

He said: “The relationship between the church and politics is based on the former educating politicians to reach sainthood.”

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WikiLeaks: Miqati Describes Hariri as Naïve; Says July 2006 War Would Weaken Hizbullah Politically and Militarily

Hizbullah doesn’t mind cooperating with Saad Hariri because he views him as “naïve and easily deceived” said Najib Miqati at the end of the July 2006 war, revealed a leaked U.S. Embassy cable published exclusively in al-Rai News on Tuesday.

Miqati, who was then a former prime minister, stated that the absence of a real leader among Lebanon’s Sunnis will empower the “unified and armed Shiite sect,” said the WikiLeaks cable dated August 8, 2006, a few days before the ceasefire in the war was put into effect.

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Al-Jarrah Vows to File Complaint against Wahhab over ‘Silly’ Accusations

Al-Mustaqbal MP Jamal al-Jarrah said Tuesday that he would file a complaint against Tawhid movement leader Wiam Wahhab for revealing “fake” checks addressed to him and signed by Saudi Prince Turki bin Abdul Aziz.

Al-Jarrah told Voice of Lebanon radio station that Wahhab’s “silly” actions are punishable by law. Former minister Mohammed Abdul Hamid Baydoun has announced he would file a complaint and “I will do the same,” the lawmaker said.

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Fears that Illegal Construction Boom was Politically Motivated

Several lawmakers have prepared a detailed report on illegal constructions on state property that stresses the wave intensified a month ago, hinting that it was backed by some political parties, An Nahar daily said Tuesday.

The report according to An Nahar also stresses that illegal construction was “intentional” and some parties had “incited” violators into more “disobedience.”

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ISF Quashes Roumieh Prison Riot

An Internal Security Forces unit raided Roumieh prison at dawn Tuesday to end a riot by inmates in blocs B and D of the facility, said the state-run National News Agency.

The agency said that the riot began around midnight and lasted till 4:00 am. The ISF unit crushed the mutiny and doused fires caused by burning mattresses and covers, NNA said.

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Jumblat Urges Assad to Implement 'Previous Resolutions on Protecting Right to Peaceful Protest'

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat has urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to "continue implementing his previous resolutions on protecting the right to peaceful protest" in unrest-hit Syria.

"As Syria's friend and ally … I urge President Assad to continue implementing his previous resolutions on protecting the right to peaceful protest and expression and to quickly launch a broad dialogue with the various political, syndical, social and economic sectors and the representatives of the civil society to discuss the means of overcoming this critical political period," Jumblat said in his weekly column in his party's mouthpiece Al-Anbaa newspaper.

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Pietton: Solving Arms Issue via National Dialogue Key to Lebanon, Region Security

French Ambassador to Lebanon on Monday noted that "seeking a solution to the issue of weapons in the framework of national dialogue is vital to the security of Lebanon and the region."

Speaking after the annual time-honored Easter service in Bkirki dedicated to France, Pietton said his country, "according to U.N. Security Council resolutions 1559 and 1701, is offering its full support for the Lebanese State for it to defend and guarantee the country's sovereignty."

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Hassan Khalil: Any Government Lineup that Advocates Backwardness Will Weaken the State

Speaker Nabih Berri’s advisor, MP Ali Hassan Khalil, stressed on Monday the need to adopt political rhetoric that would be capable of confronting the sectarian mentality in Lebanon “because sectarianism is complicating the lives of the people.”

He said: “The sectarian system is backwards, forcing the people to lead a political life of backwardness.”

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