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Lebanese in Libya Return to Lebanon through Istanbul, Alexandria, Latakia

The foreign ministry is monitoring the evacuation process of Lebanese from Libya, announcing that 21 citizens and five Palestinians have returned to Lebanon onboard a Middle East Airlines plane arriving from Istanbul, reported the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat Monday.

It said in a statement on Sunday that the Lebanese and other nationalities are being evacuated from Libya by ship and are being sent to ports in Turkey, Syria, and Egypt.

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Head of Association of Lebanese Banks: Talk of 3 Banks on U.S. Treasury List Unwarranted

Joseph Torbey, head of the Association of Lebanese Banks, criticized on Monday statements that three Lebanese banks are on a U.S. Treasury list of banks suspected of conducting illegal activity.

He told LBC: “Such claims are a cheap promotion of a non-existent cause.”

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Sfeir Urges Lebanese to Keep Commandments in Brief Lent Message

In a brief lent message, Outgoing Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir urged the Lebanese on Monday to fear God and keep his commandments.

Sfeir also thanked all those who stood by his side during his service. He made his remark to Voice of Lebanon radio station.

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Iran’s FM: Miqati’s Cabinet is Not One-Sided

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi reiterated that Tehran backed an inter-Lebanese agreement to solve the country’s political crisis and stressed that Premier-designate Najib Miqati’s cabinet would not be one-sided.

“We support any agreement that the Lebanese achieve” among themselves, Salehi told al-Akhbar daily in an interview published Monday.

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Report: March 8 to Confront March 13 Rally with Stronger Efforts to Form the Cabinet

No solution was in sight for the formation of the cabinet before March 14 although Premier-designate Najib Miqati was holding consultations away from the spotlight in a bid to break the deadlock.

Miqati held talks with Central Bank governor Riad Salameh on Sunday after a meeting they held the day before on the sidelines of the ceremony in honor of Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir in Bkirki.

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Berri Says March 14 Campaign Against Hizbullah’s Arms Has No Prospect

Speaker Nabih Berri stressed that the cabinet formation process is not facing problems that cannot be solved and denied that the March 8 forces were rejecting to give President Michel Suleiman shares in the government.

“No one, including (FPM leader) Michel Aoun is rejecting to give President Suleiman a share,” Berri told As Safir daily in remarks published Monday. “However, there are (different) point of views on the type” of shares.

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Thousands of Lebanese Rally Against Confessional Regime

Thousands of protesters marched in the Lebanese capital Beirut on Sunday to demand an end to the country's confessional system, in the second such demonstration since last week.

"The people want the fall of the regime," chanted the protesters of all ages as they marched from the Dora roundabout to the headquarters of the state electricity authority, which is located in the nearby Mar Mkhayel area.

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Hariri Holds Talks in Riyadh with Saudi Crown Prince, Interior Minister

Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri held talks Sunday in Riyadh with Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz.

Hariri and the crown prince "reviewed the bilateral relations between the two countries and discussed the latest developments at the Arab, regional and international levels," Saudi Arabia's official news agency SPA reported.

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U.S. Lawmaker Urges Obama Administration to Stop Aiding Lebanese Army

U.S. Congressman Steve Chabot, the new chairman of the U.S. House's Middle East subcommittee, has blasted the Obama administration over "its impotent response to Iran's repression of the opposition movement in 2009," Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday.

In an interview with the Israeli newspaper, Chabot charged that "Iran feels stronger" as a result of that reaction, arguing that such strengthening of Iran contributed to "the rise of Hizbullah in Lebanon."

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Fneish: Any Procedure Linked to STL Should be Halted in Order for New Government to Look into it

Caretaker Minister of State for Administrative Reform Mohammed Fneish stated on Sunday that Lebanon has entered a new phase and a new political equation has been introduced to it, stressing that constitutional violations and attacks against Lebanon’s sovereignty are no longer acceptable.

He added: “Intimidation, terrorization, and threats are futile because this matter is connected to the new government and any procedure linked to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon should be halted in order for the new Cabinet to look into it.”

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