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Jumblat: Weapons for Defending Lebanon from any Israeli Assault Should Remain

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat stated on Monday that the possession of arms between various Lebanese parties should be addressed, “but the main weapons to defend Lebanon against any Israeli assault should remain.”

He told France 24: “These arms are Lebanon’s defense and fortification … Lebanon should either side with the western Israeli front or the Arab Islamic one.”

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Geagea: Things Couldn’t Straighten up as Long as there is No Single State

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea lamented on Monday that the situation in Lebanon wouldn’t improve as long as there isn’t a single state.

“Things couldn’t straighten up in a country where there is no single state,” Geagea said in reference to Hizbullah which the March 14 forces accuse of forming a state within the Lebanese state.

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Miqati’s Circles Snap Back at al-Mustaqbal Movement

Premier-designate Najib Miqati’s circles criticized al-Mustaqbal movement saying “it knew who to choose to snap back at us because it is aware that we don’t argue with our friend Samir al-Jisr.”

Al-Mustaqbal bloc MP al-Jisr accused Miqati in remarks published Sunday that the premier-designate wasn’t extending his hand to the March 14 forces.

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Arslan Urges Miqati to Ward Off Local-Foreign Pressure and Form the Cabinet

Lebanese Democratic Party leader Talal Arslan said there was no excuse in delaying the formation of the cabinet, stressing that neither the international tribunal’s indictment nor the March 14 stance would be in favor of Lebanon.

“I am not convinced of statements that call for waiting for the development of the situation internally and abroad,” Arslan told As Safir daily in remarks published Monday.

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Miqati to Confront Demands of Allies as he Faces Difficult Task of Forming One-Sided Cabinet

Following the March 14 alliance’s official decision to become the country’s new opposition, Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati now faces the difficult task of meeting the demands of some members of the March 8 forces that brought him to power.

Miqati’s circles told An Nahar daily in remarks published Monday that the premier-designate will seek to form a mixed technocrat-politicians cabinet.

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March 14 Declares Refusal to Join New Govt: We Reject to Legitimize Coup

As expected, the March 14 forces on Sunday officially announced their refusal to take part in the country's new government.

The March 14 forces "reject to legitimize the coup … and reject to turn into observers who cannot prevent violations," the coalition said in a statement recited by ex-PM Fouad Saniora after an extraordinary meeting for its 60 MPs at the Bristol Hotel in Beirut.

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Sfeir Returns from Rome: Call for Electing New Patriarch Imminent

Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir on Sunday noted that he had mentioned the reasons behind his resignation in a letter he had submitted to Pope Benedict XVI, adding that the pope has accepted the resignation.

"The call for electing a new patriarch will be made very soon," Sfeir told reporters at the Beirut Rafik Hariri International Airport upon his return from the Vatican.

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Hariri Thanks Erdogan for Turkish Efforts to Evacuate Lebanese from Libya

Caretaker premier Saad Hariri on Sunday held phone talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Hariri and Erdogan "discussed the ongoing efforts to evacuate Lebanese citizens from Libya," the premier's press office announced in a communiqué.

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Lebanese Youth Brave Rain to March against Confessional Regime

Hundreds of people marched in Beirut on Sunday demanding an end to Lebanon's confessional system, mobilized by a call posted on Facebook.

"The revolution is everywhere ... Lebanon, it's your turn," chanted demonstrators, most of them young people, in reference to the popular uprisings rattling regimes across the Arab world since January.

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Miqati Wraps up Tripoli Visit: I will Study with Suleiman Available Options if March 14 Boycotts Cabinet

Premier-designate Najib Miqati stressed on Sunday that the participation of the March 14 forces in his government was “necessary” but said he would study with President Michel Suleiman other available options if the coalition decided to boycott the cabinet.

Miqati made his remark as he wrapped up a two-day visit to the northern port city of Tripoli. The prime minister-designate hadn’t visited his hometown since his nomination a month ago.

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