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Gulf States Oppose Arab Summit on Syria

The six Gulf Cooperation Council states said on Tuesday that they oppose a Syrian request for an emergency Arab summit on the bloody crisis in the country.

The GCC "sees that the request to hold an Arab summit at this time is useless," knowing that Arab foreign ministers will meet in Rabat on Wednesday, GCC Secretary General Abdul Latif al-Zayani said.

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Shukur, Alloush Heated Debate Erupts into On-Air Fistfight

A heated debate between Baath Party leader Fayez Shukur and Mustaqbal Movement official ex-MP Mustafa Alloush erupted into a verbal clash and a fistfight during a live talk show on MTV on Monday.

As the two were arguing over the Syrian crisis, Shukur repeatedly asked Alloush to refrain from describing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as a “tyrant”, “criminal” and “liar”.

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Hariri Says Lebanon’s Stance at Arab League ‘Shameful’, Doesn’t Express Will of Lebanese

Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri said on Saturday that he is ashamed of the Lebanese government position at the Arab League meeting, noting that the decision taken by the Arab foreign ministers will not affect Lebanon’s security.

“I am ashamed as a Lebanese of the government’s position in the Arab league and I ask the Syrian people not to consider this as the will of the Lebanese,” Hariri said on Twitter fielding questions from his supporters.

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Lebanon Votes against Arab League Decision on Syria, Mansour Says it Will Lead to a Crisis

Lebanon voted on Saturday against a decision taken by the Arab foreign ministers to suspend Syria’s membership in the Arab League.

18 countries agreed to the decision, while Lebanon, Yemen and Syria voted against it and Iraq abstained.

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STL Prosecution: Lack of Reasons over Failure to Arrest Suspects is Some Kind of Conspiracy

Leidschendam, Naharnet Exclusive:

The arguments of the representative of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon Prosecutor, lawyer Lain Morley, during a hearing on Friday unveiled that the prosecution’s strategy at this stage lies on delaying in absentia trials in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s assassination case for a period of three months for several reasons.

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Defense Wants Arrest Warrants Lifted or Suspended: For Distinguishing between STL, Proceedings Legitimacy

Naharnet Exclusive Report – Leidschendam:

The arguments of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s Defense Office, voiced on Friday by office chief Francois Roux and his deputy, lawyer Alia Aoun, intersected with the information published Thursday by Naharnet about the presence of disputes among the defense counsels on how to deal with the STL.

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STL Victims’ Participation Unit: Trial Cannot Start Without Us

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon Victims’ Participation Unit stressed on Friday that the trial of the suspects in the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri should not start without the participation of the victims who were affected in the crime.

A representative of the unit said during an STL court hearing in The Hague that the trials cannot begin without the victims, saying that there are several victims who are waiting for the tribunal to extend its hands and help them.

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Defense Remarks in STL Hearing: Warrants Discourage Accused from Appearing in Court

The head of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon Defense Office Francois Roux demanded on Friday that the arrest warrants against the four accused in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri be eliminated.

He said during a hearing at the STL headquarters in The Hague: “The issuance of arrest warrants has led to the accused being unable or unwilling to appear freely here in accordance with the provisions of the STL’s Rules of Evidence and Procedure.”

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Bellemare Would Appeal Any Decision to Begin in Absentia Trials

Naharnet Exclusive Report – Leidschendam:

A high-ranking official from the office of the Prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon said Judge Daniel Bellemare and his team have made up their mind to totally reject any plans to immediately begin in absentia trials of the four Hizbullah suspects in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s Feb. 2005 assassination.

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Vatican: No Plans Under Discussion for Pope to Visit Lebanon

Pope Benedict XVI is planning to visit Cuba and Mexico in spring 2012 but there are currently no plans to visit Lebanon, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said on Thursday.

"The nuncios of Mexico and Cuba have been charged in recent days with informing the highest religious and political leaders in the two countries that the pope is examining a concrete project to visit," he said in a statement.

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