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Geagea Says Army Hasn't Identified Nature of Maarab Drone: Efforts to Assassinate Me are Ongoing

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea warned on Monday that his assassination would have major repercussions on the March 14 forces and Lebanese policies in general.

He told al-Arabiya television: “Preparations to assassinate me are ongoing.”

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Ibrahim Continues Contacts to Release Abducted Bishops, Maalula Nuns

General Security chief Major General Abbas Ibrahim continued on Monday his efforts to release the two bishops and nuns kidnapped in Syria in April and December 2013 respectively, reported OTV.

It said that he carried out to that end talks with Patriarch of Antioch and All the East Youhanna X Yazigi.

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Jumblat Hails 'Statesman' Hariri, Slams 'Campaigns' against Him

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat on Monday lauded the stances of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri over the cabinet formation process, describing him as a “statesman” who has put “the higher national interest” above all else.

“One must praise ex-PM Saad Hariri's stance, which came at a critical moment that Lebanon and the Arab region are going through, amid rapid changes and major transformations that are being accompanied by rivers of blood and incessant bleeding against the backdrop of unprecedented sectarian and religious divisions,” said Jumblat in his weekly op-ed in al-Anbaa.

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Tripoli Muslim Scholars Accuse State of Protecting Gunmen in City

Salafist cleric Sheikh Salem al-Rafehi accused on Monday the Arab Democratic Party of being behind the latest round of clashes in the northern city of Tripoli.

He added after a meeting of Muslim scholars in light of the new round of unrest: “The state is protecting Ali and Rifaat Eid and allowing them to launch attacks in the city.”

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Gemayel Calls for Formation of Cabinet Capable of Overseeing Constitutional Deadlines

Phalange Party leader MP Amin Gemayel called on Monday for the formation of a cabinet capable of confronting all the constitutional deadlines in the country and overseeing the upcoming presidential elections.

“Three upcoming deadlines will decide the fate of Lebanon,” Gemayel said after talks with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi at Bkirki.

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Suleiman: Defense Strategy Beginning to Take Shape through Saudi Grant to Army

President Michel Suleiman hailed on Monday Saudi Arabia's grant to the Lebanese army, hoping that the international community will continue to support Lebanon's stability.

He said after a meeting with the diplomatic corps: “A national defense strategy is beginning to take shape through the Saudi grant.”

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Army Frees Priest after One-Day Abduction

The Lebanese army freed on Monday a priest from his captors a day after he was abducted in the Bekaa, the state-run National News Agency reported.

According to the NNA, Priest Rami al-Qazzi was freed by a military unit after being kidnapped by unknown assailants on Sunday.

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Aoun Describes Hariri's Stance Concerning Cabinet as 'Brave'

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun hailed on Monday ex-Prime Minister Saad Hariri's stance regarding the cabinet formation process, describing it as “brave.”

“Hariri's stance facilitates the formation of the new cabinet and is a foundation for also forming a new parliament,” Aoun said.

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Assad Describes STL as 'Politicized, Considers it a Tool to 'Pressure Hizbullah'

Syrian President Bashar Assad described the Special Tribunal for Lebanon as “politicized,” saying that it's only a tool to pressure Hizbullah.

"Nine years have passed since the beginning of this trial. Has justice been served? Every accusation was made for political reasons," he said on Sunday in an exclusive interview with Agence France Presse, days after the Special Tribunal for Lebanon began hearing evidence in the 2005 killing of Rafik Hariri.

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Defense in Hariri Murder Cites Difficulties, Roux Calls for Respect of Merhi's Rights

The defense teams of two of the suspects accused of involvement in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's assassination made their opening statements on Monday, the third day of trial held at the seat of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in The Hague.

They cited lack of evidence against the accused and stressed the difficulty of their role over lack of cooperation of the Lebanese authorities and lack of time.

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