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Miqati to Head to Paris in February as Pietton Urges Officials to Engage in Dialogue

Prime Minister Najib Miqati will head to Paris on February 10 on a three-day visit to meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and PM Francois Fillon, An Nahar newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Beirut and Paris have set the date for Miqati’s official visit to Paris, who will discuss the latest developments in the region and Lebanon, the bilateral ties and the future of the United Nations Interim Force in the South, the daily said.

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Gemayel Rules Out Govt. Collapse, Warns Lebanese against Interfering in Syria Crisis

Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel on Monday ruled out an imminent collapse of Prime Minister Najib Miqati's government.

“The issue of changing the government is not on the table at the moment, given the concessions Hizbullah has been making to guarantee the survival of the government, which is vital to its alliance with Syria,” Gemayel said in an interview on MTV.

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Cabinet Tasks Council of Development and Reconstruction with Dismantling Jal el-Dib Bridge

The Government tasked the Council of Development and Reconstruction on Monday with dismantling the metal bridge in Jal el-Dib and building a new one.

Following a session held at Baabda palace, Information Minister Walid al-Daouq said: “The Council of Ministers agreed to task the Council of Development and Reconstruction with removing the bridge and begin building a new bridge in a U form in accordance with the existing map.”

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Phalange Party Questions Govt. Silence over Soleimani’s Statements on Lebanon

Phalange Party politburo condemned on Monday the statements of Iran's Quds Force, Brig. Gen. Qasem Soleimani on Lebanon, questioning the government’s silence on the matter.

It said in a statement after its weekly politburo meeting headed by party chief Amin Gemayel: “For how long will the state maintain such a cowardly approach?”

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Jumblat: Lebanon Should Keep Quiet over Syria Instead of Proposing Solutions to Crisis

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat criticized on Monday Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour’s position on the Syrian crisis, saying that it is harming Lebanon’s credibility.

He said in his weekly editorial in the PSP-affiliated al-Anbaa magazine: “If only Lebanon’s envoy at the Arab League meetings would remain silent over the Syrian crisis instead of proposing solutions to the unrest.”

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Mansour: Dialogue between Syrian Opposition, Leadership Will End Country’s Crisis

Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour stated on Monday that Lebanon chose to distance itself from the Arab League decision on Syria that was taken on Sunday.

He said: “Dialogue between the Syrian opposition and leadership will end the country’s crisis.”

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Arrest Warrants Issued against Owners of Collapsed Ashrafiyeh Building

Beirut Examining Magistrate Ghassan Owaidat issued on Monday two arrest warrants against Michel and Claude Saadeh, the owners of the Ashrafiyeh building that collapsed on January 15 and left 27 dead.

Owaidat first questioned Michel at around 11:00 am in the presence of his lawyer Rabih Abdul Sater, the National News Agency reported.

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Miqati: Revenue from Oil Excavation Will Primarily Serve to Lower Public Debt

Prime Minister Najib Miqati stressed on Monday the importance of setting up an independent fund for petroleum and gas excavation.

He said at an event sponsored by the Association of Banks in Lebanon: “This fund will be strictly aimed at lowering Lebanon’s public debt.”

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Suleiman Relays to Ahmadinejad Keenness on Ties Based on Mutual Respect

President Michel Suleiman sent a clear message to his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday about Lebanon’s keenness on the mutual respect in their bilateral relations.

A statement issued by the presidential palace, said Suleiman discussed with Iranian ambassador Ghazanfar Roknabadi the latest controversial remarks of the commander of Iran's Quds Force, Brig. Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

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Delegation from Beirut and Tripoli Bar Associations Visits STL

A delegation of 29 Lebanese lawyers from the Beirut and Tripoli Bar associations began a working visit in The Hague on Monday, announced the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s press office in a statement.

In addition to the STL, the group will visit the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the International Court of Justice, and the International Criminal Court, it added.

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