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Berri, Miqati at Loggerheads over Country’s Turmoil

Speaker Nabih Berri and Premier Najib Miqati traded criticism for the second day on Thursday after the head of the Amal movement accused the government of not exerting strong efforts to resolve the country’s turmoil.

In remarks to An Nahar daily, Berri wondered how the cabinet postponed its session till the end of the month amid the deadly gunbattles in the northern city of Tripoli and the series of kidnappings of Syrian and Turkish nationals last week.

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Mansour Says No Valid Reason to Expel Syrian Ambassador

Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour slammed on Thursday officials who are demanding the government to expel the Syrian Ambassador Ali Abdul Karim Ali, noting that such a move violates diplomatic norms and conventions.

“We follow certain norms that we will not bend,” Mansour said in comments published in al-Joumhouria newspaper.

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4 Lebanese Dead, 10 Hurt in Shelling on Syrian Border Town

Four Lebanese nationals were killed and 10 others wounded in shelling by regime forces on the Syrian border town of Jousiyeh on Wednesday, media reports said.

“Four people who hail from Arsal were killed and 10 others wounded in the town of Jousiyeh on the Syrian side of the border,” the Beirut-based, pan-Arab television al-Mayadeen reported.

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U.N. Urges Support for Lebanon to Protect It from Syria Fallout

The United Nations on Wednesday called for greater international support to protect an increasingly divided Lebanon from fallout from the civil war in neighboring Syria.

Deadly clashes in Lebanon between supporters and opponents of Syria's President Bashar Assad have highlighted the need for international action, the U.N.'s political chief told the Security Council.

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2 Dead, 12 Hurt after Tripoli Figures Agree on 'Miqati-Backed' Ceasefire

The Islamic National Gathering agreed on Wednesday to a ceasefire in the clashes of the northern city of Tripoli that came into effect as of 5:30 p.m., but the fragile truce was shaken by intermittent gunfire that left two people dead and more than 10 wounded.

The initiative was supported by Prime Minister Najib Miqati and granted the army the right to respond to the sources of gunfire.

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Army Command: Politicians Must End Fueling of Strife in Tripoli

The Army Command stressed on Wednesday that it had not withdrawn from the areas that witnessed clashes in the northern city of Tripoli, saying that it is implementing a complete military plan that will help confront those violating security.

It said in a statement: “Politicians, regardless of their affiliations and differences, must refrain from fueling strife in Tripoli and stop meddling in the developments in the city.”

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France Strongly Condemns ‘Syria-Related’ Tripoli Clashes

France strongly condemned on Wednesday the clashes that erupted in the northern city of Tripoli between the rival neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen.

The French Foreign Ministry said in a statement: “The clashes are the result of historic disputes that have only been highlighted due to the developments in Syria.”

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March 14 Calls for Lebanese Complaint to Security Council over Syrian Violations

The March 14 general-secretariat urged the Lebanese government on Wednesday to file a complaint with the Arab League and the U.N. Security Council against Damascus for violating Lebanese sovereignty.

“Given the deteriorating situation in Lebanon, which warns of severe consequences, the March 14 forces ask the Lebanese government to file a complaint with the Arab League and the Security Council against the Syrian government for violating Lebanon’s sovereignty and stability,” the alliance’s general secretariat said following its weekly meeting.

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Miqati: No Political Party Can Consider Itself Not Responsible for Recent Developments

Prime Minister Najib Miqati stressed on Wednesday the importance of all concerned factions to support the army in its duties to maintain stability in Lebanon in light of the clashes in the northern city of Tripoli and the series of kidnappings that started last week.

His visitors quoted him as saying: “No political party can consider itself not responsible for the recent developments or their repercussions.”

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Jaafar Clan Denies Formation of 'Military Wing'

Al-Jaafar clan denied on Wednesday media reports saying that it has formed a military wing, stressing solidarity with the families of the kidnapped Lebanese in Syria.

“We haven’t formed any military wing as long as there is an army that protects the nation.” the clan said in a statement.

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