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Qassem: Lebanon More Powerful than Ever, it Affirmed its Protection of the Resistance

Hizbullah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem stressed on Monday that Lebanon is now powerful than it has ever been, as it has it has stood strong before "the winds of U.S. hegemony".

He added that Israel's threats against Lebanon have also weakened, emphasizing the Resistance's readiness to confront all challenges.

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Russian Ambassador after Meeting Franjieh: We Will Maintain Our Approach towards Lebanon

Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin announced Monday that Russia will maintain its “supportive approach” towards Lebanon.

He said after holding talks with Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh: “We always want Lebanon to be a free, sovereign, and independent country, which is why we support all efforts that help Lebanon head on the democratic path.”

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Suleiman Stresses Importance of Unity and Government that Solves Social Problems

President Michel Suleiman stressed on Monday the importance of preserving national unity and security to consolidate the democratic atmosphere that Lebanon enjoys.

A statement released by his press office said Suleiman told his visitors that the future cabinet should confront the latest challenges and solve social and administrative problems.

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Heavy Israeli Presence Across Lebanon Border

Israeli troops on Sunday carried out patrols along the Jewish state’s border with southern Lebanon and monitored Lebanese territories, pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat reported.

The soldiers also carried out maintenance work at several positions from where they monitor Lebanon, the newspaper said.

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Jumblat Slams Saniora, Advises Hariri to Learn Geopolitics

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat accused former Premier Fouad Saniora of hoping for the failure of Saad Hariri as prime minister so that he returns to the premiership.

In an interview with the Qatari al-Watan daily on Monday, Jumblat said: “If I was Sheikh Saad I would have participated in Najib Miqati’s government without hesitation.”

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Phalange Reportedly Heading Towards Participation in Miqati’s Cabinet

Premier-designate Najib Miqati held talks with Phalange party leader Amin Gemayel on Sunday night, sources close to the billionaire businessman told An Nahar daily.

Miqati had held a telephone conversation with Gemayel before the alleged meeting.

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Assad Pleased that ‘Transition Between 2 Lebanese Governments Happened Smoothly’

Syrian President Bashar Assad said he was pleased with the “smooth transition” between the two Lebanese governments, unveiling that any conflict would have evolved into civil war in Lebanon.

"What pleases me is that this transition between the two governments happened smoothly, because we were worried," Assad told The Wall Street Journal in a rare interview published Monday.

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Miqati’s Cabinet Might Not See Light before Hariri’s Murder Anniversary

Premier-designate Najib Miqati might not form his government before the 6th anniversary of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s assassination, media reports said Monday.

Political circles following up the contacts on cabinet formation ruled out in remarks to An Nahar daily a final government line-up before mid February.

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EU Expected to Announce Readiness to Fund Tribunal

Europe's foreign ministers are expected on Monday to stress the importance of funding the international tribunal and express readiness to look into ways to support it financially.

An Nahar daily said the European External Action Service (EEAS) would call in its statement for the formation of a Lebanese government that preserves national unity.

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Berri Snaps Back at Hariri, Saying Order to Bring Down Government Came from U.S. Not Syria

Speaker Nabih Berri snapped back at former Premier Saad Hariri on Monday rejecting accusations that Syria and Iran have brought down his government.

Hariri said Saturday that "enormous" pressure from outside Lebanon was to blame for the collapse of his cabinet earlier this month.

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