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Gemayel Contacts Hariri: Officials Should Set Lebanon as a Priority to Avoid Instability

Phalange Party chief Amin Gemayel demanded on Monday that an investigation into the death of Sheikh Ahmed Abdul Wahed and his aide Sheikh Mohammed Merheb be launched as soon as possible “for the sake of maintaining Lebanon’s higher interest.”

He said: “Officials should set Lebanon as a priority in order to avoid instability.”

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Jumblat Calls Hariri, Says Backing Army Part of Their 'Common Project'

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat on Sunday stressed that supporting the army would serve the project of building the state and prevent civil strife, urging Akkar’s residents “to be vigilant in order not to fall into the traps set up by the Syrian regime.”

Jumblat -- who telephoned former premier Saad Hariri condemning the killing of Sheikh Ahmed Abdul Wahed and his companion at an army checkpoint in Akkar – reminded the ex-PM of “the honorable national stances he took when the Lebanese army confronted Fatah al-Islam’s gangs in the Nahr al-Bared camp and the embracing of the military institution during that war.”

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‘Turbulent Times’ or Turbulent Management? EBRD Approves Investment for Arab Countries

Four Arab countries are expected this year to start witnessing major foreign investments after the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development established a one billion euro ($1.28 billion) fund, excluding Lebanon from the process for allegedly failing to ask the lending body to carry out a technical assessment on the country.

The fund’s establishment on Friday by the board of governors of the EBRD during a two-day Business Forum in London under the slogan of “Managing in Turbulent Times,” comes a year after they approved to expand the bank’s mandate following a string of popular revolts in the Arab world.

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Miqati Chairs Security Meeting in Tripoli, Urges Stricter Measures

Prime Minister Najib Miqati chaired on Saturday a security meeting with senior officials in Tripoli to follow up the latest developments in the northern port city.

The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Mohammed al-Safade, State Minister Ahmed Karami, Youth and Sports Minister Faisal Karami, MP Mohammed Kabbara, head of the Lebanese Army Intelligence bureau in the north, Brigadier Amer al-Hasan, and ISF commander in Tripoli General Bassam al-Ayoubi.

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Miqati Hits Back, Says Syria Letter to Ban 'Inflames Disputes'

Prime Minister Najib Miqati on Friday hit back at Syria over a letter sent by its permanent U.N. envoy Bashar al-Jaafari to U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon about the presence of alleged anti-Syria “terrorists” in Lebanon.

Miqati stressed that “the Lebanese government is fully performing its duty as to combating any type of terror operations, and in monitoring the Lebanese border, controlling the security situation and addressing any security gaps.”

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20 Dead as Syrian Forces Fire on Huge Protests

Regime forces fired on protesters who took to the streets of Aleppo on Friday, wounding several people at the biggest rally seen in Syria's second city since a revolt erupted last year, as at least 20 people were killed across the country, a rights group and activists said.

The Local Coordination Committees, the main activist group spurring protests on the ground, said security forces killed nine people in the central province of Homs, three in the central province of Hama, three in the northwestern province of Idlib, two in the southern province of Daraa, two in the northern province of Aleppo and a person in the Damascus suburb of Douma.

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U.S. Embassy: We Learned of Mawlawi Arrest from Media, Claims of U.S. Role in Seizing Arms Ship Fabricated by Overblown Imagination

Only hours after the Lebanese army intercepted the weapon-laden ship Lutfallah II off Tripoli’s coast, the Lebanese media was buzzing with reports attributed to security and political officials and claiming that the Lebanese army had received intelligence information from “major Western states,” with some saying that the U.S. was behind the intelligence tip-off.

The reports spoke of an arms shipment destined for the Syrian opposition, which Washington feared would end up in the hands of pro-Qaida gunmen practicing their activities in Syria and Lebanon – which further allowed the army to intercept the ship and seize its cargo.

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Safadi Confirms Suing General Security, Rejects to be 'Implicated in Tripoli Unrest'

Finance Minister Mohammed Safadi confirmed Thursday that he has filed a lawsuit against the General Directorate of General Security, rejecting any attempt to “implicate” him without his consent in the latest unrest in Tripoli.

The northern city has been witnessing intermittent deadly clashes since five days that were sparked by the arrest on Saturday of Islamist activist Shadi al-Mawlawi by General Security agents at the entrance of an office belonging to Safadi.

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STL Registrar Appoints Counsel for Participating Victims

Herman von Hebel, Registrar of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, has designated one lead counsel and two co-counsel to represent the victims of the February 14, 2005 attack in the Ayyash et al. proceedings, the court said in a statement on Wednesday.

Pre-Trial Judge Daniel Fransen decided on May 8 to grant 58 people the right to participate as victims in the proceedings as one group.

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Aoun: Suleiman, Miqati, Jumblat Pushing Country to Harmful Course

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun on Tuesday accused President Michel Suleiman, Prime Minister Najib Miqati and Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat of “practicing obstruction” and “pushing the country to a harmful course.”

“They deprived us of the majority that allows us to take decisions. Suleiman is obstructing the L.L.8,900 billion decree and saying there are obstacles,” said Aoun during an interview on his movement’s mouthpiece OTV.

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