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Shalom: Hizbullah Consolidating Capabilities in Contravention with 1701

Israeli deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom warned on Tuesday that Hizbullah was consolidating its military capabilities in contravention with U.N. Security Council resolution 1701.

He told the Herzliya Conference on “The Balance of Israel’s National Strength and Security" that Lebanon is the only country where a party has representatives in parliament and at the same time military capabilities.

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Berri Says Cabinet to be Formed this Week, Laments March 14’s Nonparticipation

Speaker Nabih Berri said Premier-designate Najib Miqati’s cabinet will see light this week but lamented that the March 14 forces refused to take part in the government.

“Unfortunately, it seems that some parties don’t want to participate in the national salvation cabinet. This has been announced by Phalange party leader Amin Gemayel,” Berri told Voice of Lebanon, Voice of Freedom and Dignity, radio station.

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Aoun Travels to Aleppo on Board Private Syrian Presidential Plane

Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun traveled to Aleppo on Tuesday to participate in the celebrations of Saint Maroun Day in Brad the next day.

Caretaker Ministers Jebran Bassil and Fadi Abboud, and Change and Reform bloc MPs Ibrahim Kenaan, Nabil Nicolas, Naji Gharious and Fadi al-Aawar accompanied Aoun.

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Miqati Denies he Would Visit Damascus Over Cabinet Formation

Premier-designate Najib Miqati’s press office denied a media report that Miqati was planning to visit Damascus on Tuesday for talks with the Syrian leadership on the formation of the Lebanese cabinet.

“This report is not true because PM-designate Miqati will not make any visit abroad before forming the government,” his press office said in a statement.

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EDL: Power Supply Badly Affected by Egyptian Gas Pipeline Blast

Electricite du Liban announced on Tuesday that most Lebanese regions were experiencing power shortages because Jordan’s electricity system was badly affected by a stop in Egyptian supply of gas through the “Arab line.”

EDL said that Jordan unexpectedly separated the Jordanian-Syrian line that provides Lebanon and Syria with electricity from Egypt, EDL said in a statement.

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Vatican Reportedly Accepted Sfeir's Resignation: A New Patriarch March 8

The Vatican has reportedly accepted the resignation of Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir, the daily Al-Akhbar reported Tuesday.

It said March 8 has been set as a date to elect a new patriarch for the Maronite church.

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Guy Hopes for ‘National Cabinet’: Election Results Are Still the Same

British Ambassador Frances Guy said she hoped for the formation of a national unity cabinet and hinted that the March 14 alliance was still the parliamentary majority despite the nomination of a Hizbullah-backed candidate to the premier’s post.

During a visit to As Safir daily’s office in the northern port city of Tripoli, Guy said she hoped for the formation of a “national cabinet” and stressed “nothing has changed on the ground because the results of the elections are still the same and haven’t changed.”

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France: Miqati’s Cabinet Should Respect U.N. Resolutions and Tribunal

French Defense Minister Alain Juppe has stressed that Najib Miqati’s government should respect international resolutions on Lebanon, including the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

Following talks with U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon in New York on Monday, Juppe said “a solution should be found to the current political crisis by preserving Lebanon’s unity and stability.”

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Miqati Set to Form March 8-Dominated Government After March 14 Non-Participation Confirmed

Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati on Tuesday was set to form a March 8-dominated government after talks with March 14 leaders on Cabinet participation collapsed.

An official working with Miqati told Agence France Presse the PM-designate "hopes to finalize his consultations and form the government this week."

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March 14 to Celebrate Hariri Assassination Anniversary at Biel

March 14 announced it will celebrate the sixth anniversary of the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri at Biel in downtown Beirut

A statement issued late Monday after a meeting of the March 14 Secretariat General at outgoing PM Saad Hariri's residence in downtown Beirut said the ceremony will take place in Biel at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 14.

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