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Ahmadinejad Given Hero's Welcome near Israeli Border

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived to a hero's welcome in southern Lebanon on Thursday as he attended a mass rally in Bint Jbeil, a Hizbullah border stronghold flattened in the 2006 war with Israel.

A frenzied crowd of thousands of men, women and children crammed into an outdoor stadium and on rooftops waving Iranian, Lebanese and Hizbullah flags and cheering the hardline president on stage as he again predicted the demise of the Jewish state.

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Roknabadi: Iran Standing By Lebanon, Exerting Utmost Efforts to Protect Lebanese Unity

Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi on Thursday stressed that his country was "exerting utmost efforts in order to preserve the unity of the Lebanese," adding that "the Special Tribunal for Lebanon is a Lebanese affair."

"Iran discusses with the Lebanese the key regional and global issues. As to the domestic issues and topics, we have already stated our position in that regard," added Roknabadi.

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Gemayel: Coup Attempt is Drawing Near and Our Confrontation Should be through Legitimacy

Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel noted Thursday that the "Lebanese system is at risk and we should resist all that may destabilize it."

"We should confront the plan to topple the system and components of the state with legitimacy through parliament and Cabinet," he said.

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Ahmadinejad Today Will Stand A Few Kilometers from his Arch-Foe Israel

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad comes the closest he has ever been to his arch-foe Israel on Thursday when he tours Lebanon's southern border region on the second day of a high-profile visit.

The hardline leader, who has questioned the Holocaust and described Israel as a "tumor," will stand some four kilometers (about two miles) from the Jewish state on the final leg of a controversial two-day visit to Lebanon that Washington has described as "provocative".

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Israelis Cautious ahead of Ahmadinejad Border Tour

Israelis were on Thursday warily watching their northern border for a rare opportunity to see up-close the arch-enemy of the Jewish state, Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The Iranian president, who is on a two-day trip to Lebanon, was expected to conduct a controversial tour of the southern border region during the afternoon for a visit which has been slammed by the United States and Israel as "provocative."

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Zahra: Ahmadinejad Adopted Hizbullah's Position towards STL

Lebanese Forces MP Antoine Zahra noted on Thursday that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad adopted Hizbullah's position towards the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in that he viewed it as a political tool being used against the party.

He told Voice of Lebanon radio that the Iranian leader's visit took on two facets, the first, where he visited the Lebanese state, was distinguished with seriousness and moderation, the second, where he visited Dahiyeh, was distinguished by his adoption of Hizbullah's views.

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Alloush: Ahmadinejad's Visit Provoked Majority of Lebanese, His Aid to Lebanon is Not Based on Tangible Facts

Mustaqbal Movement member former MP Mustapha Alloush stressed on Thursday that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Lebanon greatly provoked the majority of the Lebanese, especially since he supports Hizbullah militarily, financially, and morally.

He told the Kuwaiti daily Al-Anbaa Thursday that the above gives the visit a provocative trait making the Lebanese uneasy with the results of the Iranian leader's trip.

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Barak: Ahmadinejad's Lebanon Visit Reflects Hizbullah's Growing Dependence on Iran

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Lebanon indicates Hizbullah's dependence on Iran was growing, adding that Israel must remain vigilant.

"Ahmadinejad's visit to Lebanon reflects Hizbullah's growing dependence on Iran," Barak said as he toured the Golan Heights on Wednesday.

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Suleiman to Switzerland

President Michel Suleiman will head to Switzerland on Tuesday to take part in the 13th Francophone summit to be held in the Lake Geneva town of Montreux despite an upset over the Nov 29 Swiss ban on minaret construction.

The International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF) comprises 56 member states and governments, 3 associate members, and 14 observers.

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Clinton on Ahmadinejad's Visit: We Reject Any Efforts to Destabilize Lebanon

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday said she rejects any efforts to destabilize Lebanon after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Beirut for a controversial visit.

"The United States supports the integrity and sovereignty of Lebanon. We reject any efforts to destabilize or inflame tensions within Lebanon," Clinton said in Kosovo where she was meeting political leaders on her two-day tour of the Balkans.

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