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Miqati Says he Won’t Give up the Task of Forming the Cabinet

Premier-designate Najib Miqati stressed Tuesday that he wasn’t holding onto power but at the same time would not give up the task of forming the government.

“I will not give up the (cabinet) formation task not because I am holding onto power but out of conviction that I should carry on with my mission to preserve the stability and unity of Lebanon and the role of constitutional institutions,” Miqati said in a chat with reporters.

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Hariri Meets U.S. Senators, Says Tribunal is ‘Just Cause’

Caretaker Premier Saad Hariri held talks with U.S. Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman at Center House on Monday, a statement from his press office said.

The meeting was attended by U.S. Ambassador Maura Connelly, Nader Hariri, and advisors Mohammed Shatah and Hani Hammoud.

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Denial of Syrian Interference to Solve Lebanon Cabinet Dispute

Lebanese officials allied with Syria have denied to An Nahar newspaper that Damascus was meddling in the government formation process in Lebanon.

“It has been more than four weeks that Premier-designate (Najib) Miqati was tasked with forming the government without Syrian intervention,” the sources said.

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Berri: This Week Will See the Beginning of the Final Stage of Cabinet Birth

This week should be decisive for Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati’s attempts to form a new government, Speaker Nabih Berri told the English-language The Daily Star newspaper.

“This week will be decisive. It will see the beginning of the final stage of the birth of the new government,” Berri said in the remarks published Tuesday.

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No Cabinet this Week as Suleiman Travels to Rome, Kuwait

President Michel Suleiman travels to Rome on Tuesday to participate in a ceremony that would unveil the St. Maroun Statue at the Vatican, further delaying the formation of the government.

The ceremony will take place at the St. Peter’s square on Wednesday and will be attended by Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir, Lebanese expatriates and representatives of political parties.

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Higher Shiite Islamic Council Considers Tribunal as Null, Rejects Cabinet Cooperation with it

Lebanon’s highest Shiite religious authority has slammed the international tribunal as a political tool designed to target Hizbullah and urged Premier-designate Najib Miqati’s cabinet not to cooperate with it.

The Higher Shiite Islamic Council’s religious and executive committees said in a statement following a meeting on Monday that the council considers the Special Tribunal for Lebanon as “null and void.”

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Beirut Refuses Libyan Jet Entry in Lebanon

Lebanese aviation authorities have reportedly refused to give the permission for a private Libyan jet with 10 people on board to land at Rafik Hariri international airport.

As Safir daily said Tuesday that the plane was due to take off from Tripoli’s airport before midnight but Lebanese authorities asked Libya to unveil the identity of the 10 people before allowing the jet to land in Lebanon.

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Peres: Ahmadinejad and Nasrallah Will be Toppled by Own People

Israeli President Shimon Peres has said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah would be overthrown by their own people.

Peres made the remark on Monday at the headquarters of the Jewish community in Spain.

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Zasypkin after Meeting MP Hariri: We Support STL and Want it to Continue its Work

Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin stressed on Monday his country’s support for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, saying that Russia is keen on uncovering the perpetrators behind the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and all other assassinations.

He said after meeting MP Bahia Hariri: “The STL is an instrument of international legitimacy and Russia supports it and wants it to continue its functioning.”

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UNIFIL: Demarcating Maritime Border Requires Agreement from All Concerned Sides

United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon Director of Political and Civil Affairs Milos Strugar stated on Monday that the international force’s jurisdiction does not include demarcating the maritime border, adding that it would be willing to do so if it receives the consent of the concerned sides.

He explained to the Central News Agency that several sections within the U.N. are dedicated to managing legal and political affairs that include peacemaking operations and tackling maritime borders.

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