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STL Witnessing 'Tug of Rope War' between Cassese, Bellemare

Naharnet Special Report – Leidschendam:

Special Tribunal for Lebanon President Antonio Cassese succeeded in conveying an "indirect message" of hope to Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare, even at the expense of the credibility of Lebanese journalists who heard Cassese repeatedly saying, in three different ways, that he hoped an indictment would be issued in the 2005 assassination of ex-Pm Rafik Hariri.

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Security Council to Address Ongoing Threats against STL During Closed-Door Talks

Informed sources at the United Nations Security Council revealed that the council is set to discuss the ongoing threats against the functioning of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon during closed-door consultations on Friday.

The meetings were scheduled after internal consultations in Lebanon failed to ease the tensions on the matter, while Cabinet session was postponed and the majority of opposition members boycotted Thursday's National Dialogue session.

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Naharnet with One of Bellemare's Assistants: Stability Concerns us, But We'll Say the Truth as we Reach it

Naharnet Special Report – Leidschendam:

Attorney General at the office of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare, Eckhard Vihopf, sufficed with replying that the "indictment will be issued in the near future" when asked when the indictment in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri will be announced.

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Christian Meeting Declares Lebanon in 'Grave Danger,' Urges International Community to Implement its Commitments Toward it

A Christian meeting held in Bkirki under Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir on Friday declared Lebanon in "grave danger" and called on the International Community to implement its commitments toward it.

The meeting included officials from the March 14 coalition and independent figures.

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March 14: Lebanon Cannot be Taken over So Easily, Hizbullah Should Return to the State

The March 14 Secretariat General condemned on Wednesday the "intimidation campaign against the Lebanese that called them to boycott the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and the international investigators."

It said in a statement after its weekly meeting: "Those behind this campaign believe they can force the Lebanese to back down from their principles and surrender to Hizbullah's conditions, which is the side leading this campaign."

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Geagea: Hizbullah Will Not Resort to Violence if Indictment Accused Some of its Members

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea ruled out the possibility that Hizbullah would resort to violence if the indictment would accuse some of its members.

He told the Kuwaiti al-Anbaa newspaper to be published on Thursday: "The party will only reap negative repercussions from violence and it will not yield a single positive outcome."

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National Dialogue Convenes Thursday without Jumblat, Gemayel, Franjieh, and Aoun

The National Dialogue is set to resume on Thursday in the absence Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel, Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun, Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat, and Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh.

Gemayel, Franjieh, and Jumblat are unable to attend because they are traveling abroad, while Aoun announced on Tuesday that the failure to hold Cabinet session on Wednesday and discuss the false witnesses file has prompted him not to participate in the National Dialogue.

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Maronite Bishops Urge Lebanese Leaders to Quit 'Challenging Methods'

The Council of Maronite Bishops on Wednesday called on the various Lebanese political leaders to quit the "challenging methods" and "put an end to doubting each other."

A statement at the end of their monthly meeting also called on Lebanese leaders to "find political, economic and social solutions" to soothe the pain of the people.

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Opposition Ministers to Meet to Coordinate Position on False Witnesses File during Cabinet

Opposition ministers are set to convene on Tuesday in order to coordinate their position over the false witnesses file that will be discussed during Wednesday’s Cabinet session.

The meeting will also be attended by the political advisors of Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Hajj Hussein Khalil, and House Speaker Nabih Berri, MP Ali Hasan Khalil.

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Jumblat: Had STL Been Independent, Some Countries Wouldn’t be Able to Delay and Speed up Indictment

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat noted on Tuesday that had the Special Tribunal for Lebanon been independent, countries would not be able to delay and speed up the issuing of the indictment.

He told the Syrian al-Watan newspaper: “The obvious interference lies in U.S. Permanent Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice’s recent statements on the STL that did not address the Dahiyeh incident, but she instead discussed arms smuggling from Syria to Hizbullah even though the issue has nothing to do with the international investigation.”

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