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Report: Syria, Hizbullah Seek Safeguarding Cabinet to Win 2013 Elections

The Syrian regime and Hizbullah have agreed on resolving all the obstacles that could cause the collapse of the current cabinet in an attempt to safeguard the government until the parliamentary elections in 2013.

Sources told the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat that the Syrian leadership and Hizbullah are seeking to guarantee the parliamentary majority during the 2013 elections in cooperation with PM Najib Miqati and without Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat.

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Ban Urges Lebanese Army to Take Bigger Share of UNIFIL’s Responsibilities

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon called for a strategic review of UNIFIL’s mission and said the Lebanese army should begin taking a larger share of security responsibilities in accordance with Security Council resolution 1701.

Five years after the expansion of UNIFIL’s activities, it’s time to carry out a strategic review of its mission, Ban said in his 17th report on the implementation of 1701.

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Parliament Q&A Session Held without Addressing Govt. Stand on Syria

The March 14-led opposition attended a question and answer session at parliament on Wednesday in its continued effort to call into task the cabinet over its decision on Syria.

The MPs included Assem Araji, Mohammed al-Hajjar, Ahmed Fatfat, and Ghazi Youssef.

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Jumblat Seeks Mending Ties with Old Allies, Aims at Reviving Democratic Gathering

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat is seeking to revive the “Democratic Gathering,” al-Liwaa newspaper reported on Wednesday.

“He is paving way to meet with ex-Prime Minister Saad Hariri,” sources told the daily.

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Lebanese Puzzled Over Miqati’s Role in Arab League Decision but PM Clarifies his Stance

Four days after Lebanon voted against an Arab League decision to suspend Syria’s membership, the role that Premier Najib Miqati played in that decision was still unclear.

Diplomatic and ministerial sources said in remarks to several dailies on Wednesday that Miqati told Saudi Prince Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah during a phone conversation that Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour “violated his instructions” and voted against the Arab League measure.

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Explosions Target Hotel, Liquor Store in Tyre

Twin bomb blasts targeted a hotel and a liquor store in the southern city of Tyre at dawn Wednesday, causing extensive damage but no casualties.

The first explosion ripped through a restaurant of the three-story Queen Elissa hotel which lies on the coast around 5:00 am. Several vehicles were damaged in the blast.

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Miqati to Cabinet: Our Stance on Syria at Arab League Protects Our Stability

Prime Minister Najib Miqati reiterated Tuesday that “the stance recently taken by Lebanon at the Arab foreign ministers meeting on Syria is aimed first and last at protecting domestic stability in Lebanon.”

During a cabinet session he headed at the Grand Serail, Miqati stressed that “Lebanon will remain interactive with its Arab surrounding and part of the Arab world,” noting that “Lebanon’s vote at the Arab League stemmed from historical and geographic considerations that take into consideration the Lebanese sensitivities of which our Arab brother are aware.”

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Mustaqbal: Strict Scrutiny Awaits Govt. Stance at Morocco Meeting

The Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc on Tuesday slammed Lebanon’s decision to vote against suspending Syria’s membership in the Arab League.

In a statement issued after its weekly meeting, the bloc condemned “Lebanon’s stance at the meeting of the Council of Arab Foreign Ministers (in Cairo on Saturday), which sided against the brotherly Syrian people and represented a dangerous precedent by defying the popular Arab consensus.”

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Hariri Discusses Regional Situations with Saudi Crown Prince

Former premier Saad Hariri held talks Tuesday in Riyadh with Saudi Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz on “the latest developments on the Arab and regional scenes and issues of common interest between the two countries,” Hariri’s press office said.

During the talks at the Royal Court in Al-Yamamah Palace, Hariri congratulated Prince Nayef on the success of the hajj pilgrimage season this year and the facilities provided by the kingdom to nearly three million Muslim pilgrims, the office added.

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Aoun: Arab Countries Chose Wrong Path by Boycotting Syria

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun slammed on Tuesday the Arab League’s suspension of Syria’s membership.

He said after the Change and Reform bloc’s weekly meeting: “The Arab countries have chosen the wrong and losing path by deciding to boycott Syria.”

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