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French Official Urges Lebanon to Fully Back STL ‘No Matter What’

A French official has said that he would ask Lebanese Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi to exert all efforts to cooperate with the international tribunal “no matter what the price might be.”

Francois Zimeray, who is France’s Ambassador for Human Rights, said in remarks published in the Saudi al-Watan daily on Sunday that he would ask Qortbawi “about the future intentions on the international court and how Lebanon would cooperate with it.”

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Opposition: Nasrallah is Challenging the State and Taking the Cabinet as Captive

March 14 general-secretariat coordinator Fares Soaid has said that Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s keenness on the cabinet proves that the arms of the Shiite party have taken the country captive.

“The keenness that the man showed on the cabinet of Premier Najib Miqati confirms once again that Hizbullah puts the entire Lebanese republic under the captivity of its arms,” Soaid told An Nahar daily published Sunday.

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Berri Hails Calm in Aftermath of STL Indictment but Expects More Accusations Soon

Speaker Nabih Berri has said that Beirut was as calm as Norway’s capital Oslo when the Special Tribunal for Lebanon handed General Prosecutor Saeed Mirza a copy of the indictment in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s assassination case.

In remarks to An Nahar daily published Sunday, Berri said that Shiites proved their “commitment to the instructions of the political and religious leaderships and were not shocked by the accusations against the four people.”

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Hizbullah Rules Out Arrests in 'Void' U.N. Hariri Case

Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Saturday ruled out the arrest of four members of his party indicted by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon for the 2005 assassination of Lebanese former premier Rafik Hariri.

In his first reaction to the charges by the STL, Nasrallah also rejected "each and every void accusation" made by the Netherlands-based court, which he said was heading for a trial in absentia.

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Arslan Hands Written Resignation, Suleiman and Miqati to Discuss it Monday

The premiership received on Saturday Minister Talal Arslan’s written resignation from cabinet, reported LB television.

President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister Najib Miqati will discuss this issue on Monday.

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Raad: Indictment Did Not Cause Explosion Other Camp Had Hoped for

The head of the Loyalty to the Resistance bloc MP Mohammed Raad linked on Saturday the release of the indictment in the investigation into the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri to the formation of the new government.

“They were surprised with the cabinet lineup and they consequently had not choice but to release the indictment,” he said during an academic gathering.

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Miqati: Maintaining Lebanon’s Stability and Unity Will Be Govt.’s Priority

Prime Minister Najib Miqati stated on Saturday that the new government will be discussed a parliament next week on the basis of a “realistic and practical” policy statement that includes suggestions and projects that can be applied in different fields.

He hoped before reporters at the Grand Serail that the parliament sessions dedicated to granting cabinet next week would be constructive to all Lebanese.

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Iran Speaker Rejects Hariri Tribunal as 'Political'

The U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon is "political" and "disreputable" and its indictment against Hizbullah members is of no importance, Iran's parliament speaker Ali Larijani said Saturday.

The Netherlands-based STL investigating the assassination of Rafik Hariri on Thursday charged four members of Hizbullah over the 2005 assassination of the former Lebanese premier.

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Hariri Thanks Ban for Supporting STL

Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri contacted U.N. Chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday, thanking him for his efforts in support of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s assassination.

Hariri praised the U.N.’s efforts since the formation of the tribunal and up until the release of the indictment on Thursday.

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Israeli Reports: Maher Assad, Assef Shawkat Suspects in Hariri Assassination

Yediot Ahronot Israeli newspaper reported on Saturday that the international investigation committee in the 2005 assassination of ex-Premiere Rafik Hariri will “introduce a new list of accusations against Syrian security officials.”

The reports said that handing the names of the accused to Damascus has been “postponed due to the Syrian unrest.”

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