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Beirut-Damascus Contacts Aim at Speeding up Cabinet Formation

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat has stressed that he had good relations with Syria and would continually visit Damascus.

“I don’t want to snap back at the fabrications made about my last visit to Syria,” Jumblat told As Safir daily in remarks published Tuesday about reports that he had returned from Damascus empty handed.

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Jumblat Denies Pulling out of New Majority, Says his Latest Stance Aimed at Backing Hizbullah, Syria

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat has denied that his latest stance from the March 8 forces and the cabinet formation impasse meant he had fallen out of the new parliamentary majority.

On Monday, Jumblat issued a stern warning to the March 8 coalition, accusing it of failing to form the new government. The Druze chief’s new stance was seen as a blunt attack on the Hizbullah-led alliance, but Jumblat stressed to An Nahar daily in remarks published Tuesday that his statement did not reflect a change in his policies.

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Williams Warns of Lost Opportunities in Cabinet Impasse

U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams warned that opportunities would be lost and the country would face bigger dangers amid a continued deadlock on the new cabinet.

Williams told An Nahar daily in remarks published on Tuesday that his meetings with top Lebanese officials and calls for speeding up the formation of the new government came over fears that “opportunities would be lost and the dangers would become bigger.”

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Geagea Calls for Forming Technocrat Govt: They Want Interior Portfolio to Confront STL

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on Monday called for forming a technocrat cabinet, describing that as “the only solution to rescue the country from the current impasse.”

“A national unity cabinet is out of the question because we can’t reach an agreement on the major issues,” Geagea added in an interview with MTV.

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Phalange Party: Delay in Forming Govt Exposes Lebanon to Many Threats

The Phalange Party on Monday noted that “procrastination in the cabinet formation process exposes Lebanon to many threats,” wondering why those involved in the process have disregarded the party’s suggestion to form a “national salvation cabinet.”

“If they have another formula, why don’t they endorse it,” the party’s political bureau said in a statement issued after its weekly meeting.

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Jumblat: New Majority Has Failed Miserably in Forming New Government

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat slammed the new majority’s failure to form a new government, saying that the PSP and National Struggle Front can no longer cover up the vacuum it has caused.

He said in his weekly editorial in the PSP-affiliated al-Anbaa magazine: “The new majority has failed miserably in forming a new government.”

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NATO Says Gadhafi's Time Up as Misrata Fighting Rages

Time is running out for Libyan leader Moammer Gadhafi, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said, even as the strongman's forces laying siege to Misrata intensified their assault on the lifeline port.

"The game is over for Kadhafi. He should realise sooner rather than later that there's no future for him or his regime," the NATO secretary-general told CNN's "State of the Union" program late Sunday.

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Jumblat Meets Mufti Qabbani, Stresses Importance of Dialogue in Light of Upcoming Islamic-Christian Summit

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat stressed on Monday the importance of dialogue among all Lebanese in light of the Islamic-Christian summit scheduled to be held later this week.

He said after holding talks with Sunni Mufti Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani: “I think this an historic stand that Muslims and Christians would meet to announce their solidarity with all Arab people, especially the Egyptians who are passing through a critical phase caused by sectarian incitement.”

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Suleiman Meets Jumblat: Dialogue Best Solution to Ease Tensions between East and West

President Michel Suleiman held talks on Monday with Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat on the government formation process and local developments.

The MP left the meeting without issuing a statement.

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Robert Ford: U.S. Asking Syria to Immediately End Assistance to Hizbullah

U.S. Ambassador to Damascus Robert Ford expressed his country’s concern about ties between Syria and Hizbullah and voiced alarm over reported transfers of arms to the Shiite party.

In an interview with Radio Sawa, the Arabic language radio station funded by the U.S. government, Ford said “the U.S. administration asked Syria to immediately stop its assistance to Hizbullah and to recognize the sovereignty of Lebanon on its territory as part of friendly ties” between the two countries.

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