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Report: Ban Briefed on International Tribunal Indictment

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has been briefed on the content of the indictment in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s murder case and a copy of it was referred to the judicial department at the United Nations, pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat on Wednesday.

“The release of the indictment is a matter of few days, if not hours,” sources told the newspaper.

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Miqati’s Sources Deny Pressure on Diplomats to Delay Indictment

Sources close to Premier Najib Miqati denied that he was exerting efforts through contacts with top diplomats to delay the release of the indictment by the international tribunal.

“This is untrue,” the sources told An Nahar daily published Wednesday about information that Miqati was seeking to postpone the announcement of the indictment’s details.

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Qahwaji in U.S. Soon, Military Assistance Frozen but not Stopped

As Army chief Gen. Jean Qahwaji readies to visit U.S. and France, a Lebanese army delegation that recently visited Washington told officials there that the military was not willing to fight Hizbullah to serve Israel.

A high-ranking source told An Nahar daily that the delegation headed by Maj. Gen. Abdel Rahman Shehaitly was asked several questions about the alleged influence of Hizbullah on the army. But the answer was clear: “Hizbullah is a party that has a presence in Lebanon and mainly the south where it resists Israel. Is the army required to fight it to serve Israel?”

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March 14 Leaders Discuss Aftermath of STL Indictment

Opposition leaders met at the Center House on Tuesday night to discuss the upcoming stage following the expected release of the indictment by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, An Nahar daily reported.

The newspaper said on Wednesday that the March 14 leaders also discussed alleged efforts by the new cabinet to circumvent the indictment in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s assassination.

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UNIFIL: 2 Peacekeepers Hurt as Patrol Pelted with Stones near Srifa

Lieutenant-Colonel Gokul Bhandaree, a military spokesman for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), on Tuesday clarified the circumstances of a clash that took place Monday evening between UNIFIL peacekeepers and Lebanese villagers near the southern town of Srifa.

"Yesterday … at around 8:30 pm a UNIFIL convoy coming from Beirut with newly arrived troops lost its way in the vicinity of the town of Srifa. The convoy was stopped by a group of local people and a stand-off ensued. Some of the people from the group threw stones at the UNIFIL peacekeepers,” the spokesman said.

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Miqati in Contact with 'All Parties' on STL Clause

Prime Minister Najib Miqati is in contact with all parties in an attempt to find a solution that is “acceptable to all those concerned” regarding the clause in the government Policy Statement which deals with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, a source close to Miqati told Agence France Presse on Tuesday.

“PM Miqati’s stance is based on commitment to international legitimacy and he can’t make any step that might expose” Lebanon to the risks of defying international legitimacy, the source added.

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Geagea during Ceremony Adopting LF By-Laws: This Cabinet is that of Blatant Hegemony

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea slammed the new government on Tuesday, describing it as one of blatant hegemony.

He asked during a ceremony adopting the LF by-laws: “How can we explain the formation of such a government during the period in which the region is witnessing radical change?”

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Murr: I Can’t Withhold Confidence from a Govt. Berri is Part of

MP Michel Murr on Tuesday announced that he will grant his vote of confidence in parliament to Prime Minister Najib Miqati’s newly-formed government.

Following talks with Speaker Nabih Berri in Ain al-Tineh, Murr said: “There are three reasons that make me want to grant my confidence: the first is that I always consult with Speaker Berri, and … I cannot withhold my confidence from a government Speaker Berri is partner in, given that I have a very solid relation with him.”

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Aoun: Policy Statement Will Be Finalized this Week, Including STL Clause

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun stated on Tuesday that the committee drafting a government policy statement will likely complete its work this week.

He revealed after the Change and Reform’s weekly meeting: “It will be finalized this week and the clause on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon will be the final issue of discussion.”

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Miqati: Lebanon Unanimous on Rejection to Naturalize Palestinians

Premier Najib Miqati reiterated on Tuesday Lebanon’s “unanimous” decision to reject the naturalization of Palestinians but vowed to provide them with the “necessary attention” to resolve their plight.

During talks with the Palestinian president’s envoy, Azzam al-Ahmed, Miqati said: “The Lebanese government will work to give the humanitarian and social issues of Palestinians in the refugee camps the necessary attention in cooperation with involved international agencies.”

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