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Miqati on Civil War Anniversary Urges Political Leaders to Take Bold Step towards Ending Disputes in Lebanon

Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati called on Wednesday the political leaders to take bold steps towards bridging the gap between the Lebanese and present concessions for the country’s greater interests.

He said in a statement marking the 36th anniversary for the eruption of the Lebanese civil war: “This occasion should force us to overcome our current differences, work responsibly on fortifying the country, and tackle disputes through dialogue.”

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March 14: Threat of Civil War Still Exists Given Possession of Arms Outside State Authority

The March 14 General Secretariat warned on Wednesday that the threat of the eruption of a civil war still stands given the possession of arms outside the state’s authority.

It said after its weekly meeting: “The war may have had several local and external causes, but it would not have happened had it not been for the possession of illegitimate arms among the Lebanese and the existence of several militias that claimed to be resisting Israel.”

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Berri Vows to Intensify Efforts to Solve Problem of Illegal Construction in South

Speaker Nabih Berri said during his weekly meeting with MPs on Wednesday that he was exerting all efforts to solve what he called the chaos of illegal construction on public property in the south.

Berri’s pledge came after As Safir daily published a report saying there were more than 500 illegal construction violations in southern Lebanon.

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Hariri on Civil War Anniversary: Sectarianism, Arms Should No Longer Dictate Dialogue among Lebanese

Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri blamed on Wednesday the 15-year civil war for the current reality in Lebanon where “sectarian statelets and armed groups” have been established to serve internal and regional interests.

He said in a statement marking the 36th anniversary of the eruption of the Lebanese civil war: “The memory of the war should remain in the past and we hope that it will not be repeated.”

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Al-Rahi Calls for Reactivation of Hizbullah-Bkirki Dialogue Committee

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi said Wednesday that he would activate the dialogue between Bkirki and Hizbullah upon his return from the Vatican at the end of the week.

He told Radio Charity and Voice of Lebanon stations in an interview from Rome that he had asked the Hizbullah delegation that visited him in Bkirki on the occasion of his election last month to reactivate the committee.

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Pietton Confirms Miqati Wants to Form Balanced, Widely Represented Cabinet

France’s Ambassador to Lebanon Denis Pietton discussed with Premier-designate Najib Miqati on Wednesday the latest developments on the new government formation process.

“Miqati is concerned about forming a balanced government,” Pietton said, telling reporters after the meeting that the administrative appointments require a “balanced and a widely represented government.”

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Jarrah Denies Involvement in Syrian Developments: Interfering in Syrian Affairs is Out of the Question

Mustaqbal bloc MP Jamal al-Jarrah denied on Wednesday Syrian allegations that he had funded a terrorist cell to create unrest in Syria.

He told Al-Jadeed television on Wednesday: “The programmed Syrian confessions are aimed at tarnishing the image of a certain political camp and if they had proof of their claims then they should address the Lebanese Foreign Ministry.”

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WikiLeaks: Hariri Said Suleiman’s Election as President Will ‘Embarrass’ Hizbullah

The March 14 camp believed that Michel Suleiman’s election as president would “embarrass” Hizbullah and harm Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun, revealed a leaked U.S. Embassy cable published exclusively in Al-Akhbar newspaper on Wednesday.

The November 4, 2007, WikiLeaks cable spoke of a meeting between the head of the Mustaqbal movement Saad Hariri and then U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Jeffery Feltman during which the former informed him that the March 14 camp had not reached an agreement over a presidential candidate, less than a month before then President Emile Lahoud’s term was scheduled to end.

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WikiLeaks: Khoja Described Hizbullah as ‘Devil,’ Said Shawkat was Planning to Kill Hariri

Saudi Arabia was fully convinced that Assef Shawkat, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s brother-in-law, was conspiring to kill caretaker PM Saad Hariri and former PM Fouad Saniora, according to a WikiLeaks cable.

During a meeting with then U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman, Saudi chief of mission Abdul Aziz Khoja described Hizbullah as “the devil,” according to the cable dated November 3, 2007 and published Wednesday by al-Akhbar daily.

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WikiLeaks: Suleiman Said Hizbullah Supported his Election as President to Eliminate his Chances of Success

The United States initially opposed Michel Suleiman’s election as president, revealed a leaked U.S. Embassy cable published exclusively in Al-Akhbar on Wednesday.

The October 16, 2007, WikiLeaks cable spoke of a meeting between then Army Commander Michel Suleiman and then U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Jeffrey Feltman during which the former rejected claims that he was a “Syrian agent”, voicing fears over what Damascus had in store for Lebanon.

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