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Lebanon Aware of Mediterranean Gas Fields Since 1969, U.S. Warships Studied them in 2009

The Lebanese government has been aware of the gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea since 1969, reveal al-Balad French on Wednesday.

A source close to the White House said that the United States also knew of them.

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France: We Don’t Interfere in Government Formation Process, But it Should Respect STL

France announced on Wednesday that it does not interfere in the government formation process in Lebanon, stressing however that the new Cabinet should respect the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero stated that his country has repeatedly emphasized the importance of Lebanese institutions functioning independently and democratically.

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March 14 Condemns 4 Ministers, Says Rally Should be a Referendum on Rejection of Arms

The March 14 general-secretariat on Wednesday “strongly condemned” four caretaker ministers for turning down requests from the Special Tribunal for Lebanon prosecutor to provide information and documents, saying this was tantamount to non-cooperation with the STL.

If Ministers Ghazi Aridi, Jebran Bassil, Ziad Baroud and Charbel Nahhas remain adamant in not cooperating with Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare, they and their party backers would have to confront the Lebanese public which is calling for holding accountable ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s assassins, said the general-secretariat following its weekly meeting.

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Council of Maronite Bishops: Synod to Elect New Patriarch on March 9

The Council of Maronite Bishops announced on Wednesday that the Synod of Maronite bishops will meet starting March 9 at 6:00 pm to elect a new patriarch.

Last week, Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir who is holding the post since 1986. The 90-year-old cardinal cited his old age in comments to the Lebanese media when he handed in his resignation.

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Report: 4 Ministers Turn Down Requests from Bellemare who is Mulling Measures Against them

Four caretaker ministers have turned down requests from the Special Tribunal for Lebanon prosecutor to provide information and documents, in breach of the cooperation protocol signed with the U.N., sources close to the STL told the English-language The Daily Star.

The requests made by Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare were sent last month from his office in Beirut to caretaker Premier Saad Hariri, who passed them on to Ministers Ghazi Aridi, Jebran Bassil, Ziad Baroud and Charbel Nahhas on February 24, the newspaper said Tuesday.

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Conflicting Reports on Fate of Moussa al-Sadr as Lebanese Hope Mystery would be Revealed

The crumbling of Moammar Gadhafi's regime could shed light on one of the most enduring mysteries in Lebanon: the fate of Moussa al-Sadr, a popular Shiite cleric who vanished 33 years ago during a trip to Libya.

Since the uprising began, members of Libya's opposition have broken a three-decade silence on the issue, with some saying the 82-year-old cleric is languishing in a Libyan prison.

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Clinton: Syria’s Ties with Hizbullah Not in Damascus’ Interest in Long-run

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that Syria’s relations with Iran and Hizbullah are not in the interest of Damascus in the long-run.

That’s why Washington sent a new ambassador to Damascus, Clinton said during a testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

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Miqati Proposes New Cabinet Formula Amid Continued Bickering Over Interior Portfolio

A cabinet formula was proposed by Premier-designate Najib Miqati during a meeting between Caretaker Energy Minister Jebran Bassil and the advisors of Speaker Nabih Berri and Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, An Nahar daily said Wednesday.

The newspaper said the proposed 30 seats in the new cabinet are divided as follows:

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Report: Lebanese-Canadian Bank to be Sold for $500-600 Million

The Lebanese-Canadian Bank will be sold soon following U.S. accusations that LCB was laundering hundreds of millions of dollars in drug profits for a cocaine smuggling organization with ties to Hizbullah, An Nahar daily reported Wednesday.

The newspaper said that the Central Bank’s assurance of finding a solution to the crisis will be interpreted in the sale of the bank for 500-600 million dollars.

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Berri from Baabda: Government Formation Process Entered New Phase, Obstacles Can Be Overcome

House Speaker Nabih Berri stated on Wednesday that there are no problems in the government formation process.

He said after his weekly meeting with President Michel Suleiman: “The problem lies in the media, but this does not mean that there are no obstacles and I believe that Prime Minister-designate still has time to tackle these hardships.”

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