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Berri: Syrian Embassy Warned Against Involvement of Lebanese Officers in Syria Tumult

Speaker Nabih Berri has stressed that Lebanon’s security should not be linked to the political vacuum created by the deadlock on the formation of the new cabinet.

In remarks to several Beirut dailies published Wednesday, Berri said: “The effectiveness of security apparatuses should not be based on the formation of the government.” He stressed that security agencies have their own budgets.

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NATO: ‘Flickers’ of Possible Qaida, Hizbullah Involvement with Libya Rebels

NATO's supreme allied commander in Europe, U.S. Navy Adm. James Stavridis, has said that officials had seen "flickers" of possible al-Qaida and Hizbullah involvement with the Libyan rebel forces fighting Moammar Gadhafi’s regime.

But in a Senate hearing Tuesday, Stavridis said that there was no evidence of significant numbers within the political opposition group's leadership.

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Rifi: 4 Suspects Arrested So Far Amid Hope to Liberate Estonians Soon

Internal Security Forces chief Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi has unveiled that the Intelligence Bureau has so far arrested four people involved in the kidnapping of the seven Estonian tourists in the Bekaa Valley last week.

In remarks to An Nahar daily on Wednesday, Rifi said that the four men are suspected of providing the kidnappers with the van and a stolen Mercedes to carry out the abduction operation.

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Security Council Hopes Miqati’s Cabinet Would See Light ‘As Soon as Possible’

U.N. Security Council members have expressed hope that Premier-designate Najib Miqati would overcome obstacles and form a cabinet as “soon as possible.”

An Nahar daily said Wednesday that the 15-member Council also hoped the new government would remain committed to Lebanon’s international obligations, mainly the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

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Aoun Discharged from Hospital after Undergoing Medical Checkups over Minor Brain Stroke

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun underwent medical checkups at Hotel Dieu Hospital after suffering a minor brain stroke that affected his vision for some time, according to information obtained by Naharnet.

Aoun managed to overcome the stroke and his condition was described as non-worrisome Tuesday . The FPM leader was discharged from hospital at noon Wednesday.

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Mustaqbal: Bekaa Developments Aimed at Returning Lebanon to Dark Period of its Past

The Mustaqbal bloc condemned on Tuesday the recent security developments in Lebanon, especially the kidnapping of seven Estonians in the Bekaa, which it said “are aimed at returning Lebanon to a dark period of its past.”

It added after its weekly meeting in Qoreitem headed by former Prime Minister Fouad Saniora: “Malicious powers are behind these incidents that are aimed at targeting mutual coexistence and destabilizing Lebanon.”

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Aoun: We Don’t Oppose Baroud’s Reappointment as Long as it’s Not to the Interior Ministry

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun stated on Tuesday that no progress has been achieved in the government formation, stressing that the FPM is not obstructing the process.

He said after the movement’s weekly meeting: “The movement is seeking to regain central rights that have been lost.”

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Lebanese in Ivory Coast under Threat as Lebanon’s Ambassador Assures Plane Tickets and Aid Being Provided

The Lebanese Ambassador to the Ivory Coast Ali Ajami stressed on Tuesday that the situation in the African country is “getting more complicated as the political and security situations are unstable.”

He added to Voice of Lebanon radio on Tuesday that the Lebanese expatriates are being robbed, saying that several of them have already left the country.

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Al-Rahi Heads to the Vatican April 11 to Meet with the Pope, Celebrate Mass

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi will travel to the Vatican on April 11 to meet with Pope Benedict XVI and celebrate mass there at St. Peter’s Basilica, the deputy chief of the Episcopal committee on the media announced Tuesday.

Father Elie Madi said during a press conference that the patriarch would visit the Vatican April 11-16 during which he would thank the pope for the letter he sent to al-Rahi the day he was elected.

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Mario Aoun: I Didn’t Say al-Rahi’s Remark on Baroud was ‘Irresponsible’

Former minister Mario Aoun stressed on Tuesday that he described Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi’s remark on Caretaker Interior Minister Ziad Baroud as “unprecedented” but not “irresponsible.”

“I didn’t say it was irresponsible,” Aoun told Voice of Lebanon radio station. “It is unprecedented … We haven’t gotten used to such remarks from a high religious authority.”

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