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Hariri, Nasrallah at Loggerheads Over Suspected Assassins, Shiite Sect

Former Premier Saad Hariri snapped back at Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah saying the party chief was seeking to put the entire Shiite sect in confrontation with his “fictitious schemes.”

“The accused are identified by name and Hizbullah is admitting that it is hiding them,” Hariri said in remarks to Future News TV late Wednesday about the four suspects accused of involvement in Rafik Hariri’s Feb. 2005 assassination.

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U.S.: Lebanon Should Meet Obligations Under International Law

The United States on Wednesday again urged Lebanon to work with the international tribunal, which says it has enough evidence to try four Hizbullah members in the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri.

The call came after the Special Tribunal for Lebanon unsealed the indictment of the four men and said the evidence was sufficient to go to trial over the February 2005 car bombing that killed Hariri and 22 others.

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Nasrallah: Indictment Based on Conclusions, Not Direct Evidence

Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Wednesday said the Special Tribunal for Lebanon lacked sufficient evidence to implicate members of his group in the 2005 assassination of ex-premier Rafik Hariri.

"What the tribunal published confirms what we have been saying for months, that the investigation is neither transparent nor scientific," said Nasrallah in a nationally televised speech broadcast hours after the Netherlands-based court unsealed its indictment.

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Abbas Hoists Palestinian Flag atop Embassy in Beirut

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas inaugurated Wednesday the Palestinian embassy in Lebanon and hoisted the Palestinian flag atop its building, after the Lebanese cabinet officially recognized the state of Palestine and approved to raise the level of diplomatic representation with it.

Flanked by Prime Minister Najib Miqati, the Palestinian leader also unveiled a plaque commemorating the event.

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Saniora: Suspects’ Escape from Justice Proves their Guilt

The head of the Mustaqbal bloc former Prime Minister Fouad Saniora noted on Wednesday that the information published in the indictment in the Special Tribunal for Lebanon presents strong and solid evidence of the involvement of the four Hizbullah members suspected in the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri.

He said in statement: “We are not seeking revenge, but we want to achieve justice.”

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Parliament Approves Tobacco Control Law

Parliament approved on Wednesday the tobacco control law that would organize the manufacturing and advertisement of tobacco products.

The law, initially proposed by MP Atef Majdalani, was amended to allow the tourism police to fine restaurant owners double the minimum wage should they the law be violated.

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Hizbullah Delegation Meets Qabbani: We are Open to Any Solution that Would Avert Strife

Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani urged on Wednesday the Lebanese to put an end to the “rhetoric of hate” and statements of incitement that would serve to create tensions between them.

He said after meeting with a Hizbullah delegation: “It is necessary for all sides to commit to objective rhetoric that would ease the people’s fears.”

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Geagea, Gemayel Meet Abbas, Stress Need to Establish Palestinian State

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea stressed on Wednesday the Palestinian people’s right to return to their homeland, which is a position shared by the Lebanese state and Palestinian Authority.

He made his statement after holding talks with visiting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

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Hariri: Hizbullah Must Sever Ties with STL Suspects and Cooperate with Tribunal

Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri called on Wednesday Hizbullah to sever ties with the suspects in the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri, urging it to take “an historic stand” to cooperate with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

He said in a statement: “Hizbullah and its chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah should put an end to the policy of evading the STL, cooperate with the tribunal, and hand over the suspects in order to ensure the establishment of a fair trial.”

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March 14: Rejecting Justice is Strife in Itself

The March 14 General Secretariat lauded on Wednesday the publication of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon indictment in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, considering it an “exceptional development” that may lead to the truth in the crime.

It said in a statement after its weekly meeting: “The publication is a victory of a principle that we have long supported.”

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