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Berri Calls for Intense Efforts to Consolidate Stability

Speaker Nabih Berri called on Wednesday for intensified efforts to strengthen stability in the northern city of Tripoli and support the military's role there.

Berri's stance came during his weekly meeting with lawmakers.

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Syrian Ambassador Says Battles in Tripoli Linked to Syria

Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali said on Wednesday that the ongoing battles in the northern city of Tripoli reflect the developments in Tripoli, pointing out that the final result will be in favor of Lebanon, Syria and the whole region.

“All those who strategically read the developments in the region said that the countries are integrated and the attack on Syria will have an impact,” Ali told reporters after talks with Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun at his residence in Rabieh.

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Syrian, 2 Lebanese Charged with Deadly Assault on Army

State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr charged three people on Wednesday for killing Lebanese soldiers in the northeastern town of Arsal last month.

Saqr charged in absentia Mashhour Abdul Mawla al-Rifahi al-Wazir, a Syrian, for the premeditated attack on an army checkpoint in Arsal and for the murder of three soldiers on May 28.

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Salam Calls on Political Foes to Facilitate Formation of Cabinet

Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam said on Wednesday that all parties should exert efforts to facilitate the formation of his cabinet.

“The delay in the formation is caused by the constitutional challenge,” Salam's visitors quoted him as saying.

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Syrian Air Raid Targets Arsal, Suleiman Urges Respect of Lebanon's Sovereignty

Syrian regime forces carried out an air raid on the northeastern town of Arsal on Wednesday, with a report saying that helicopters targeted a house owned by a man from al-Hujairi family.

The attack drew the condemnation of President Michel Suleiman, who urged Syria to “respect Lebanon's sovereignty and not to endanger its citizens."

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Sawan Questions Arsal's Municipal Chief, Substitutes Bail for Arrest

Military Examining Magistrate Fadi Sawan questioned Arsal's municipal chief Ali al-Hujairi against the backdrop of an army assault in February, and substituted an arrest warrant for a LL 300,000 bail, the state-run National News agency said on Wednesday.

Sawan, who questioned al-Hujairi for three hours, obtained a permission from caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel to prosecute the suspect.

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Zasypkin Backs Stability in Lebanon, Rejects Meddling in its Affairs

Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin reiterated on Wednesday that his country supports stability and security in Lebanon, stressing that Moscow rejects any intervention in the country's local affairs.

“We back stability and security in Lebanon. The members of the U.N. Security Council all voiced their support to maintaining stability and security in Lebanon,” the ambassador said.

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Rebels Say they Lost Battle for Qusayr but Vow to Fight 'Lebanese Mercenaries'

Syria's rebels conceded on Tuesday they had lost the battle for the strategic town of Qusayr but vowed to fight “thousands of Lebanese mercenaries” after the army seized total control of it and the surrounding region.

The main opposition National Coalition shrugged off the defeat, declaring the "revolution will continue".

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EU Kickstarts Discussions on Blacklisting Hizbullah Military Wing

European Union countries mulled on Tuesday placing Hizbullah's military wing on its list of terrorist organizations ahead of a wide meeting for EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg on June 24.

According to As Safir newspaper, several EU countries, including Austria are questioning the “motives behind blacklisting Hizbullah.”

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Eid Has Reservations Over Army Raids, Berri Hints 5th Column Involved in Tripoli Fighting

The head of the Arab Democratic Party, Rifaat Eid, has expressed reservations over raids carried out by the Lebanese army in his stronghold in the northern city of Tripoli as Speaker Nabih Berri hinted that a fifth column was seeking to create tension in the area.

In remarks to An Nahar daily, Eid said the army made unusual steps in the neighborhood of Jabal Mohsen on Tuesday by “raiding our homes and ransacking them and we haven't made a move against it.”

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