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Jumblat: State is Final Shelter in Protecting National Unity, Resistance, Calls for Maintaining Balanced Rhetoric

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat noted Thursday that, regardless if the Borj Abi Haidar clash was an individual incident or not, "the state remains the final shelter for protecting national unity and the Resistance … based on the equation of the people, army, and Resistance."

He said in a statement a commitment should be made towards this equation as a general principle, "which means carrying out a serious investigation in the recent unrest on the basis of affirming peace and stability and preventing security disorder."

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Hariri Inspects Hizbullah-Ahbash Clash Scenes

Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Thursday inspected the neighborhoods that witnessed clashes between Hizbullah and al-Ahbash gunmen in Borj Abi Haidar, Mazraa and Basta.

Hariri was accompanied by Secretary-General of the Higher Defense Council Brig. Gen. Adnan Merheb.

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Geagea: Authorities Would Be Surrendering to Armed Groups if they Don't Arrest Borj Abi Haidar Culprits

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said on Wednesday that authorities would be giving up their role for armed parties if they don't arrest the suspects involved in clashes between Hizbullah and al-Ahbash earlier in the week.

"Judicial and security authorities should take necessary measures to arrest the gunmen who took part in the incidents no matter to which side they belong to," Geagea said. "Or else these authorities would be giving up their role for armed groups that appeared on Beirut streets."

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Suleiman Holds Talks with Baroud on Progress of Investigations in Borj Abi Haidar Clashes

President Michel Suleiman and Interior Minister Ziad Baroud held talks on Thursday on the progress of the investigation in the recent clashes at Borj Abi Haidar and the Interior Ministry's measures to prevent similar incidents from erupting once again.

The President also held separate talks with Minister of State Adnan al-Kassar on local political and economic developments and later with former MPs Mosbah al-Ahdab and Farid al-Khazen on current internal affairs.

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Hariri Says Political Rhetoric Escalation, Acts of Some Led to Tuesday's Incidents

Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Wednesday stressed that "it is about time we learn that no matter what happens, no group will be able to defeat the other."

At an iftar banquet he hosted in honor of families from across the South, Hariri added: "Everyone is to be blamed – politicians, journalists and TV networks – because the escalation in political rhetoric in the country and the behaviors of some" lead to incidents such as the fierce Hizbullah-Ahbash street battles that took place on Tuesday in the Beirut area of Burj Abi Haidar.

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Hizbullah Says it Would Study Requests of Lebanese Judiciary Not Tribunal

Hizbullah has said it would cooperate only with the Lebanese judiciary if it requests information unveiled by Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah about ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's assassination.

"Our stance from the court is known. We don't recognize it and we don't cooperate with it," Hizbullah sources told An Nahar daily in remarks published Thursday.

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Wahab: Syria Would Interfere in Lebanon with All Means to Stop Strife

Tawhid movement leader Wiam Wahab said Syria would interfere "with all its means" in Lebanon in case there was Sunni-Shiite strife in the country.

"I know the Syrian mind and I know that if there was sectarian strife in Lebanon, Syria would interfere because it would be the first to be harmed by this," Wahab told the Kuwaiti al-Jarida newspaper in an interview published Wednesday.

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Paris Denies Sarkozy Comments on STL Decision

France has denied comments attributed to President Nicolas Sarkozy that the decision of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon lies in the hands of the U.S.

Media sources in Paris quoted French officials as saying that Sarkozy stressed that the STL is "independent" and that "no one can pressure it (court) toward postponing the issuance of the charge sheet because all the elements associated with this resolution are not in the hands of France nor America nor the States funding the tribunal."

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Jumblat: STL Decision in U.S. Hands

Druze leader Walid Jumblat said Washington is behind a decision to be issued by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon convicting people in the murder of ex-PM Rafik Hari.

"This phase requires a wait-and-see strategy," Jumblat said in remarks published by several Beirut dailies on Wednesday.

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Bellemare's Office Requests 'Additional Information and Evidence Held' by Nasrallah, Says Recent Response 'Incomplete'

The Office of the Prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon announced Tuesday that it has requested the Lebanese authorities to provide "additional information and evidence held by the Secretary General of Hizbullah" Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.

"In response to the request of the Office of the Prosecutor, on 17 August 2010, Hizbullah officials hand-delivered to the Prosecutor General of Lebanon an envelope containing six DVDs. This material was handed over to the Office of the Prosecutor on the same day," a communiqué issued by STL's press office said.

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