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Maronite Bishops Council Called on Lebanese to Adhere to State by Forming New Cabinet

The Maronite Bishops Council called on officials on Wednesday to adhere to the Lebanese state, starting with forming a new government.

It said after its weekly meeting headed by Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi: “They should respect democratic principles and restore the functioning of state institutions.”

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Naksa Day Rally Set for June 5, Maroun al-Ras Clashes Won’t Be Repeated

Attention will be drawn to southern Lebanon on June 5 as a rally is expected to staged in commemoration of the day of the Naksa, reported As Safir on Wednesday.

High ranking military sources told the newspaper that the Lebanese army is taking the necessary precautions, stressing that the recent clashes that broke out on the Nakba Day at Maroun al-Ras will not be repeated.

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Baroud Insists on ‘Liberating himself from his Responsibilities’

Ziad Baroud, who relieved himself from his duties as caretaker interior minister, will not resume his duties, An Nahar newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The newspaper said that Baroud will not take back his decision as long as the current situation remains the same. It noted that caretaker defense minister Elias Murr will be the acting interior minister when he returns to the country during the weekend.

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Youssef Returns to Lebanon: I Have No Problem in Discussing All Issues before Judiciary

Ogero Telecom General Director Abdul Monem Youssef returned to Lebanon on Tuesday to a throng of photographers at Beirut international airport seeking to take his first photo after the incident at a Telecommunications Ministry building at al-Adliyeh, reported the daily al-Mustaqbal on Wednesday.

Airport security however prevented the photographers from taking any pictures.

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Suleiman Allegedly Asked Najjar ‘Orally’ to ‘Study’ Rifi’s Case

President Michel Suleiman did not ask caretaker Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar to take judicial measures against Internal Security Forces chief Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi, informed sources told An Nahar daily, claiming that the request to “study” the case was made “orally” and then interpreted by a memo released by the presidency’s general-directorate.

The sources told An Nahar daily on Wednesday that the oral request was based on article 49 of the constitution and did not have a reference for the referral of Rifi to the judiciary over his rejection to comply with caretaker Interior Minister Ziad Baroud’s order to pull members of the ISF’s Information Branch from a building affiliated with the telecommunications ministry.

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Attempts to Break Cabinet Deadlock Resume Amid Grim Hopes

The aides of the speaker and the Hizbullah leader visited the Free Patriotic Movement chief and the president on Tuesday after they resumed their mediation efforts to solve the cabinet impasse.

But An Nahar daily said Wednesday that the separate meetings that MP Ali Hassan Khalil and Hussein Khalil held with FPM chief Michel Aoun and President Michel Suleiman did not reach any results.

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Berri Says his Statements about Cedar Revolution ‘Killed’ March 14

Speaker Nabih Berri said that his statement about the Cedar Revolution “killed” the March 14 forces leading to “all the fuss” about the issue, As Safir newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Berri was referring to his statement that the Cedar Revolution had taken the country 60 years backwards. He said during a ceremony on Monday that the revolution which drew Syrian forces out of Lebanon in 2005 led to corruption and provided the suitable atmosphere for foreign intervention.

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Report: March 8 Mulling to Replace Miqati with Another Personality

The March 8 forces led by Hizbullah are mulling to replace Premier-designate Najib Miqati with another personality, al-Liwaa newspaper reported Wednesday.

Sources told the daily that mainly Hizbullah and Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun are planning to find a candidate for the premiership who is neither a March 14 foe nor unwanted by March 8.

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Qahwaji, Rifi Thwart Tripoli Rallies Planning to Burn Nasrallah, Aoun Posters

Army commander Gen. Jean Qahwaji and Internal Security Forces chief Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi have agreed to thwart rallies in support of Rifi in the northern port city of Tripoli, An Nahar newspaper reported on Wednesday.

An Nahar said that the protestors were planning to burn posters of Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun at the city’s main squares.

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Mustaqbal: Berri’s Remarks ‘Smoke Bombs’ to Deviate Attention from Failure to Form Govt

The Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc noted Tuesday that the March 8 camp has so far failed to form a new cabinet “because most of its leaders have favored their narrow personal and factional interests over the interests of the country and the citizens.”

In a statement issued following its weekly meeting, the bloc accused the March 8 camp of “attempting unsuccessfully to deviate attention from the core problem – failure to form a government.”

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