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Mansour Says EU Decision over Hizbullah 'Unfair' and 'Political'

Caretaker Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour said on Thursday that the EU's decision to blacklist Hizbullah's military wing is “unjust,” pointing out that it was based on a political decision and not security fears.

“The government should convene and assume it's responsibilities to confront the decision,” Mansour said in comments published in al-Joumhouria newspaper.

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Suleiman Says Only State, Army Should Decide on Defending the Nation

President Michel Suleiman criticized Hizbullah without naming it on Thursday, saying it was time for the Lebanese state and the army to be the sole decision-makers on the use of the nation's capabilities.

“It has become urgent to approve a defense strategy after the resistance's arms went beyond Lebanon's borders,” Suleiman said during a ceremony marking the 68th anniversary of the Lebanese army’s founding.

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Berri Calls on Lebanese to Support Army, Says Differences with Aoun on Details

Speaker Nabih Berri said on Wednesday that exerted efforts that aim at fortifying the military institution are required, pointing out that he agrees with Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun on the general principles only.

“Every measure we take that helps safeguard the army and fortify its task in maintaining the country's stability and security is a necessary step that should be fully supported,” Berri told al-Joumhouria newspaper on the 68th Army Day.

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UNIFIL Spokesman: We Don't Feel Threatened

The spokesman of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, Andrea Tenenti, has denied that the peacekeepers had received any threats, and stressed the strong cooperation between them and the Lebanese army

“We don't feel threatened and security measures haven't changed,” Tenenti told As Safir newspaper published on Thursday.

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Aoun Vows to Make Army 'Strong Enough' to Defend Lebanon

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun on Wednesday pledged that the Lebanese army “will remain in our conscience until we make it strong enough to defend the land of the country,” on the eve of the 67th Army Day.

"We remember our martyrs who offered their blood to defend the sovereignty and independence of our country and our freedom ... They gave us hope in a real country and in a decent life," Aoun, a former army chief, said.

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Soldier Killed, Another Wounded in Bekaa Raid as Army Arrests 'Dangerous' Fugitive

A soldier was killed and another injured on Wednesday during an army raid to arrest fugitives in the Bekaa, reported the National News Agency.

The Army Command issued a statement confirming the martyrdom of a soldier and the injury of another.

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Miqati on Army Day: Military Has Demonstrated that it is above Political Disputes

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati stressed on Wednesday that the army has proven that it meets the expectations of the Lebanese people in achieving a sovereign and free Lebanon.

He said: “The army has demonstrated that it is above all political disputes and their repercussions.”

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Qaida Chief Says Syria Exposed Hizbullah as Iran 'Tool'

Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri said that Hizbullah had been exposed as a 'tool of Iranian expansionism,' in an audio message posted online on Wednesday.

Zawahiri said that Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah's public acknowledgement in late April that its fighters had intervened in neighboring Syria in support of President Bashar Assad, a key Tehran ally, "tore off the mask he always hid behind."

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Military Tribunal Charges Asir's Bodyguard over Abra Clashes

Charges were pressed against the bodyguard of salafist cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Asir over his links to the clashes that took place in Abra in the southern city of Sidon in June, reported LBCI television on Wednesday.

It said that State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr charged Ali Abdul Wahad and referred him to First Military Investigation Judge Riyad Abu Ghida.

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Qahwaji Says Political Disputes Forced Decisions to Avert Vacuum

Army Commander Gen. Jean Qahwaji said on Wednesday criticized the political disputes among the rival parties, which pressed politicians to take decisions in order to avoid vacuum.

In his Order of the Day to mark the 68th Army Day, Qahwaji stressed that “there wouldn't have been any fear of vacuum if the political life went on normally and disputes didn't govern ties between parties.”

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