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Miqati Vows to Cooperate with March 8, 14 after Cabinet Formation

Premier-designate Najib Miqati vowed on Thursday to cooperate with both the March 8 and 14 forces as soon his new government receives the vote of confidence of parliament.

In remarks to a delegation from the Beirut Traders Association, Miqati said his approach to the formation of the cabinet focuses on “preservation of stability, prevention of strife and holding onto the constitution and the consolidation of the national economy.”

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Nahhas on Being Prevented from Dismantling OGERO Station: Intelligence Bureau Staging Coup

Caretaker Telecommunications Minister Charbel Nahhas described on Thursday the morning’s developments at the Telecommunications Ministry “as a coup led by the Internal Security Forces’ Intelligence Bureau.”

Earlier during the day, the ISF had prevented Nahhas, a number of directors, and a technical team from entering one of the ministry buildings at Adlieh.

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Suleiman Praises Qabbani’s Keenness on the Safety of the State

President Michel Suleiman telephoned Mufti Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani on Thursday lauding his “national role” and “keenness on the safety of the state mainly with regards to the preservation of the constitution and institutions.”

A statement carried by the state-run National News Agency said that Qabbani, in his turn, stressed to Suleiman that Dar al-Fatwa and Muslims in Lebanon “appreciate and respect” the president for “safeguarding the nation, its people, the state and institutions.”

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ISF Says Not Concerned with Telecom Ministry Disputes as Nahhas Prevented from Dismantling OGERO Station

Security forces prevented on Thursday caretaker Telecommunications Minister Charbel Nahhas, several directors at the ministry, and a technical team from entering one of the ministry’s buildings at the Adlieh area.

Sources told Naharnet, that the minister and the technical team headed to the building in order to dismantle a mobile phone station belonging to OGERO Telecom.

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Bahraini Foreign Minister: Developments in Lebanon Weaken the 2 Countries’ Interests

Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa denied that lifting the National Safety condition has to do with the possibility of resuming flights between the kingdom and Lebanon.

“We hope the Lebanese government becomes aware that what is going on in Lebanon doesn’t serve the two countries’ interests,” the Bahraini al-Watan newspaper quoted the Foreign Minister as saying.

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Dar al-Fatwa to Sue Aoun for ‘Inciting Strife,’ Advises him to Treat Himself

Dar al-Fatwa is planning to sue Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun for libel and defamation after he allegedly described members of the Sunni sect as “terrorists.”

Mufti Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani blasted the lawmaker on Wednesday, saying: “Let Aoun know that doing harm to any sect, means harming all sects in Lebanon.”

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Report: U.S. Warns Lebanon of Isolation Risk

The U.S. is upping pressure on Lebanon to reduce its ties to Syria and is warning Lebanese officials that they risk being isolated, diplomats and officials told the Los Angeles Times.

A Western diplomat and Lebanese officials said that during his visit to Beirut last week, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman bluntly warned Lebanese officials that the tide had turned against Syria’s Assad regime and urged them to distance themselves from it.

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Ashkenazi: Hizbullah Poses Biggest Challenge to Israeli Army

Former Israeli Army Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi has said that Hizbullah poses the greatest challenge to the Jewish state’s military.

"Despite the criticism against the Second Lebanon War, deterrence has increased in its wake…. Still, if Hizbullah wanted to, it could fire a massive amount of rockets at nearly any point on Israel's map,” Ashkenazi said during a conference at Bar Ilan University on Wednesday.

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Gates: Hizbullah Warheads Could Carry Biological or Chemical Agents

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said that Hizbullah has a sizable arsenal of missiles and rockets which could be tipped with warheads carrying biological or chemical warfare agents.

The Shiite group possesses a stockpile that outstrips the number of missiles and rockets held by most nations, Gates said Tuesday after a speech on Pentagon budget issues at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute.

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Geagea: Nakba Day Martyrs Had a Cause, But Were Exploited to Deviate Attention from Syria Unrest

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on Wednesday said the caretaker cabinet “has a duty, amid what’s happening in the region, to take all measures necessary for the proper implementation of (U.N. Security Council) Resolution 1701, as we should not expose our borders, youths and Lebanon to danger.”

“We respect the martyrs who fell on our northern border while commemorating Nakba Day, because hadn’t they been sincere in defending their cause, they wouldn’t have been ready to die in that way,” Geagea added, calling on “political officials to take all measures necessary to avoid the recurrence of such an incident.”

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