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Arab League Urges Syria to End Violence, Says Observer Mission to Continue

Arab ministers meeting in Cairo on Sunday gave observers in Syria the green light to continue their mission and called for an "immediate" end to the violence there.

The Arab ministerial committee on Syria "has decided to give Arab League observers the necessary time to continue their mission according to the protocol," which states that the mission is for the duration of one month.

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In Harissa, Independent Christians Agree to Draft 'Plan for the Future'

A group of independent Christian figures on Sunday held a meeting at the Basilica of Our Lady of Lebanon in Harissa to “discuss the national and political affairs and the outcome of the alignments and conflicts in Lebanon, inside and outside state institutes, and in the Arab world,” state-run National News Agency reported.

The conferees also discussed “the situations the Christians are going through, especially in the hotspots, and the repercussions of the sudden changes on their freedoms and existence.”

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Soaid Demands al-Hout to Clarify Statements about al-Fajr Brigades

March 14 General Secretariat coordinator Fares Soaid expressed surprise on Saturday over the presence of an armed branch affiliated in the Jamaa Islamiyah.

“We stress that the March 14 forces are struggling to move to the state which is the only competent side tasked with defending Lebanon,” a statement by Soaid said.

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Hizbullah Slams Ban’s Visit, Describes Feltman as ‘Messenger of Evil’

Senior Hizbullah official Mohammed Yazbek slammed on Saturday United Nations Chief Ban Ki-moon’s scheduled visit.

“Ban, (U.N. Special Envoy) Terri Rod Larson, and the messenger of evil and conspiracy’s (U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs) Jeffrey Feltman are unwelcomed in Lebanon,” Yazebk said.

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Syria Buries Damascus Dead as Security Forces Kill 23 Civilians

23 Syrian civilians were shot dead on Saturday as the regime held funerals on Saturday for 26 people killed in a Damascus suicide bombing that it called a "terrorist attack," promising an "iron fist" response to the second such incident in two weeks.

Local Coordination Committees announced that Syrian security forces shot dead 23 civilians including a child.

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Ghalioun: Nasrallah's Remarks Inappropriate Coming from a Resistance Leader

Syrian National Council leader Burhan Ghalioun said Friday that Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s recent remarks that the Syrian opposition had presented its credentials to the West were “inappropriate coming from the leader of a resistance movement and a spiritual figure.”

In an interview on Al-Arabiya television, Ghalioun added: “Neighboring Lebanon is a real brother of Syria and it is more than a neighbor.”

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Hariri Denies Escaping Assassination Attempt in Riyadh

Former prime minister Saad Hariri on Friday denied what he said was a “rumor” of a failed attempt on his life in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

“You might have heard the rumor about my so-called assassination in Riyadh. My presence here, now, is a natural denial of this lie,” Hariri said in English on the social networking website Twitter.

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35 Dead as Syrians Rally to Demand U.N. Intervention

Syrian activists on Friday took to the streets across the country in a bid to "internationalize" their cause after the rebel Free Syrian Army urged the Arab League to admit its observer mission is a failure and to turn to the United Nations.

But there has been no let-up in security force fire against demonstrators, with at least 35 people shot dead on Friday, according to the Local Coordination Committees, the main activist group spurring protests on the ground.

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Suleiman Hopes Cabinet Would Make Appointments According to Merit

President Michel Suleiman lauded on Thursday the government’s performance so far, despite the criticism it has come under.

He hoped that it would “make the appointments of top civil servants in gradual steps and not in one single haul.”

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Cabinet Approves Executive Decrees for Oil Excavation Law

The cabinet on Wednesday approved the executive decrees for the law on oil excavation in Lebanon’s territorial waters.

The parliament endorsed the bill in August 2011.

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