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New Structure for Miqati’s Cabinet, Defense and Interior Ministries Portfolios Must Remain under President’s Authority

The daily An Nahar reported on Saturday that the latest government structure that was agreed upon called for granting Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun ten ministers, President Michel Suleiman and Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat eleven, and the rest of the March 8 camp nine ministers.

The Interior Ministry portfolio would be granted to a figure agreed upon by all sides and who is not affiliated with any of the political powers.

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E.U. Ambassador to Lebanon Meets with Hizbullah Officials: STL was Established to Stay

The European Union's ambassador to Lebanon, Angelina Eichhorst revealed that she had met with Hizbullah officials who informed her of the party’s positions on international resolutions on Lebanon.

She told the daily An Nahar in remarks published on Saturday that the U.N. Security Council resolutions cannot be addressed selectively, but they should be viewed as a whole package.

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Jumblat Calls on Hariri to Understand Hizbullah’s Structure: March 14’s Campaign against Arms Will Fail

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat voiced his annoyance with the renewal of the political and media dispute between Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Hizbullah.

He told the daily An Nahar in remarks published on Saturday: “Based on my experience with Hizbullah and the Shiite sect, Hariri must understand the party’s cultural and ideological structure and its connection with Wilayat al-Faqih.”

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Hariri-Iran Dispute Reaches Government Formation

Observers noted on Saturday that the dispute between Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Iran will be limited to the Lebanese internal scene, stressing that Lebanon will not succumb to the regional tensions.

A prominent political source told the daily An Nahar in remarks published on Saturday that what appears to be a dispute over Lebanese-Iranian ties in fact stems back to the Saudi-Syrian initiative that was aimed at ending the Lebanese political crisis, which it turned out Iran had obstructed.

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Iran Slams Hariri's Position on Islamic Republic: It Doesn't Fall in Lebanon's Interest ... PM's Press Office Hits Back

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast slammed on Friday caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri's recent position on Iran, which he said only serves U.S. and Israel's interests, reported Press TV.

Addressing Hariri, Mehmanparast said that with a proper understanding of the lessons of the popular uprisings in the Arab countries of the Middle East, "[you] should consider the criteria for ruling people as respecting their dignity and independence, as well as avoiding dependence on the West, particularly the U.S. and Zionism."

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Hariri Telephones Bahraini King, Urges him Not to Consider Stands Taken by Any Lebanese Political Group

Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri telephoned Bahraini King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa on Friday stressing to him Lebanon’s support to the Kingdom’s sovereignty and stability.

He urged him not to consider any position taken by any political group in Lebanon as being the stance of the Lebanese state or its people.

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Aoun Says National Unity More Important than Presidency: Miqati Should Take Risks or Resign

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun stated on Friday that Lebanon’s national unity is more important than the presidency.

He added before a youth delegation in Rabieh: “Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati should take risks or resign.”

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Miqati from Tripoli: Situation in Region Requires All Political Forces to Calm Their Rhetoric

Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati stressed on Friday the need for political forces in Lebanon to calm their political rhetoric given the instability in the Arab world.

He said before his visitors in the northern city of Tripoli: “The rhetoric harms the Lebanese people because it is involving them in disputes with fraternal states that have stood by Lebanon and the Lebanese during the hardships they have endured.”

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France Sets Up Air Bridge for Lebanese Fleeing I. Coast

Lebanon has set up an air bridge to ferry its citizens out of war-torn Ivory Coast and on to Beirut, the French foreign ministry said Friday, announcing the creation of a crisis coordination cell.

A fleet of medium-sized planes will fly Lebanese citizens from Abidjan airport, which is now controlled by French troops, to neighboring Ghana's capital Accra, where they will be transferred to Lebanese airliners.

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Lebanese Ambassador to Bahrain: Bahraini Authorities Asked 10 Lebanese to Leave

Lebanon’s Ambassador to Bahrain Aziz al-Qazzi revealed on Friday that the Bahraini authorities requested ten Lebanese to leave the Gulf state.

He told Free Lebanon radio that the situation in Bahrain is stable.

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