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Geagea Accuses Aoun of Seeking to Push Suleiman to Resign

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea ruled out the formation of a government soon and accused Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun of pushing President Michel Suleiman to resign.

In remarks to As Safir daily on Wednesday, Geagea said: “Issues linked to the international tribunal and Hizbullah’s arms no longer afford vague stances” from Premier-designate Najib Miqati.

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Report: Lebanon Does Not Have Authority to Withdraw Tribunal Judges

Western sources stressed that the Lebanese government did not have the authority to withdraw the judges from the Special Tribunal for Lebanon that will prosecute ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s suspected assassins.

“The judges were appointed by the U.N. secretary-general. That’s why the Lebanese government cannot withdraw them,” the sources told pan-Arab daily al-Hayat in remarks published Wednesday. “The judges could resign however,” they said.

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Peres Says Israel Aspires to Lasting Peace with Syria, Lebanon

Israeli President Shimon Peres has said the anti-government protests sweeping the Arab world that have toppled the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt are an "opportunity for peace" in the Middle East.

"We believe that the biggest guarantee of peace is having democracy in our neighbors. We are happy to witness this democratic revolution which is taking place in the Arab world," he said in an address to the Spanish parliament on Tuesday.

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Williams after Meeting Miqati: Dialogue between All Sides Only Way to Solve All Disputes

U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams stressed on Tuesday the importance of a new government meeting the expectations of all Lebanese.

He said after holding talks with Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati that as the developments in the Arab world have demonstrated, dialogue between all sides in a country is the only way to solve all disputes and fulfill the political, social, and economic needs of the country.

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Aoun: Process of Government Formation Has Not Reached an Advanced Stage

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun renewed on Tuesday his refusal to grant President Michel Suleiman a Cabinet portfolio, saying: “If he were with us, then there’s no need to grant him a portfolio.”

The MP asked after the movement’s weekly meeting: “Should we withdraw from rule so that he is granted portfolios? Who came up with this rule and when?”

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Paris Has No Problem with Miqati: He Faces Difficult Dilemma with STL

French diplomatic sources stressed on Monday that Paris has no problems with Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati “who had a successful run as prime minister in 2005.”

They told Akhbar al-Yawm news agency that Paris noted that some MPs were pressured to nominate Miqati to his position, “but it is awaiting what will come of the government formation and the establishment of the ministerial statement … in order to determine its position in these affairs.”

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Lieberman Meets Miqati, Jumblat: Ties with Cabinet are Linked to its Commitment to STL

U.S. Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman stressed on Tuesday that Washington is watching to see whether Lebanon's future government will respect the findings of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon investigating the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Lieberman said after meeting with Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati that the U.S. State Department considers Hizbullah a terrorist organization and any role the party has in the new government will affect how the U.S. deals with it.

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Miqati Says he Won’t Give up the Task of Forming the Cabinet

Premier-designate Najib Miqati stressed Tuesday that he wasn’t holding onto power but at the same time would not give up the task of forming the government.

“I will not give up the (cabinet) formation task not because I am holding onto power but out of conviction that I should carry on with my mission to preserve the stability and unity of Lebanon and the role of constitutional institutions,” Miqati said in a chat with reporters.

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Hariri Meets U.S. Senators, Says Tribunal is ‘Just Cause’

Caretaker Premier Saad Hariri held talks with U.S. Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman at Center House on Monday, a statement from his press office said.

The meeting was attended by U.S. Ambassador Maura Connelly, Nader Hariri, and advisors Mohammed Shatah and Hani Hammoud.

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Denial of Syrian Interference to Solve Lebanon Cabinet Dispute

Lebanese officials allied with Syria have denied to An Nahar newspaper that Damascus was meddling in the government formation process in Lebanon.

“It has been more than four weeks that Premier-designate (Najib) Miqati was tasked with forming the government without Syrian intervention,” the sources said.

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