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Four Tripoli MPs Call for Finding Solutions that Steer Lebanon Away from Collapse

MPs Najib Miqati, Minister Mohammed Safadi, Ahmed Karami, and Qassem Abdelaziz met Sunday to discuss the latest developments in Lebanon given the parliamentary consultations to appoint a new prime minister scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.

They warned in a statement after the meeting that developments in Lebanon are threatening the creation of a "dangerous national divide," holding officials responsible for reaching the necessary solutions to end the crisis "to steer Lebanon away from the possibilities of internal collapse."

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Consultative Meeting at National Liberal Party HQ after Saturday’s March 14 Meeting Turned into a Demonstration

A consultative meeting for Christian politicians and figures is scheduled to be held at the National Liberal Party’s headquarters on Sunday during which the gatherers are expected to issue a call to President Michel Suleiman over the parliamentary consultations and the “pressures” being exerted on democratic life in Lebanon, reported the daily An Nahar Sunday.

Meanwhile, a conference for March 14 leaders and activists under the slogan of “A Consultative Meeting in Defense of the Republic” that was held on Saturday turned into a demonstration before the March 14 General Secretariat headquarters at Le Gabriel Hotel after its management received a phone call urging it against hosting the conference.

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Netanyahu to Hold Security Talks on Situation in Lebanon

Israeli radio reported on Sunday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was planning to hold talks with his government on the situation in Lebanon. The radio gave no further details.

A spokesman for Netanyahu, questioned by AFP, would not confirm or deny that the meeting would include discussions on Lebanon.

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Emergency Meeting for Muftis Council to Address Latest Developments

The muftis council in Lebanon is scheduled to hold an emergency meeting Sunday, headed by Grand mufti Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani, to discuss the latest developments in Lebanon.

Qabbani told the daily An Nahar in remarks published on Sunday that the meeting is dedicated to study the situation in Lebanon in light of Arab and international efforts to help the country end its crisis.

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Nasrallah to Give Speech Sunday Night after Hizbullah Leadership Meeting

Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is expected to give a speech Sunday night to discuss the latest developments, announced Hizbullah on Saturday.

The daily An Nahar Sunday reported that Nasrallah is scheduled to make his appearance after a meeting for the party's leadership, amid speculation over the purposes of the meeting.

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Jumblat: Lebanese Will Receive Democratic Gathering’s Answer during Monday’s Consultations

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat defended his decision to stand by Syria and Hizbullah in the upcoming parliamentary consultations, by saying that he based it on “obvious national and regional factors.”

He told the daily An Nahar Sunday that the Lebanese will receive the Democratic Gathering’s answer during Monday’s consultations.

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French-Saudi-Turkish-Qatari Consultations in Paris to Reach Solution to Lebanese Crisis

A meeting between the French, Saudi Arabia, Turkish, and Qatari foreign ministers is expected to be held in Paris on Sunday in order to reach a solution to the Lebanese political crisis, reported the daily An Nahar Sunday.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to also join these talks, in a sign of France’s determination to continue efforts that would ensure Lebanon’s stability and sovereignty.

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Qatari Emir Hopes President would Postpone Consultations, Suleiman Sees No Justification for it

Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani hoped in a telephone with President Michel Suleiman that the parliamentary consultations over appointing a new prime minister would be postponed in order to allow more room for reaching a settlement, revealed Arab diplomatic sources to the daily Al-Mustaqbal Sunday.

Suleiman, however, ruled out such a development, saying that it would be “unjustified seeing as he was the one who called for holding the consultations in the first place,” reported the daily An Nahar Sunday from the president’s visitors.

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Fresh Grenade Attack Rocks Tripoli

A grenade exploded at a market in the northern city of Tripoli on Saturday, a security official said, in the second such blast in the area in as many days.

The device hurled by unidentified assailants went off in Souk al-Qameh on a road between the rival neighborhoods of Bab al-Tebbaneh and Jabal Mohsen, the official told Agence France Presse on condition of anonymity.

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Political Crisis Threatens Economic Gains

The political crisis in Lebanon is threatening to derail economic progress after a year that saw 7 percent economic growth, a record number of tourists and bank deposits among the highest in the Middle East.

Lebanon's government collapsed Jan. 12 after Hizbullah and its allies resigned from the Cabinet in a dispute over a U.N. court investigating the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

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