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Negotiations over the release of the 11 kidnapped Lebanese pilgrims have achieved “great progress”, reported the daily An Nahar on Saturday.
Hizbullah circles told the daily that there are “very positive signs that they may be released within 48 hours.”Full Story
The head of the Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc MP Fouad Saniora stressed on Saturday that the March 14 camp is committed to the memorandum that it handed to President Michel Suleiman on the national dialogue.
He announced in a press conference: “We will approach the dialogue with an open mind and weapons possession in Lebanon should be the only topic of discussion.”Full Story
The Syrian army killed at least 23 civilians in two protest cities on Saturday, a watchdog said, as an international outcry mounted over a massacre in a central village.
U.N. observers who visited the village of Al-Kubeir, near Hama, said they witnessed blood on the walls and "a strong stench of burnt flesh," prompting Western governments to launch a push for tough new sanctions against Damascus.Full Story
President Michel Suleiman received on Friday a phone call from his French counterpart Francois Hollande, during which they discussed the importance of national dialogue “in maintaining Lebanese domestic stability.”
The two leaders tackled Suleiman’s call for resuming all-party talks on June 11.Full Story
One person was killed and two others were wounded on Friday as exchange of gunfire renewed between the rival Tripoli neighborhoods of Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh, in the latest such violation of a fragile ceasefire.
“Cautious calm engulfed the area after army units fired heavily for around 10 minutes at the sources of gunfire, silencing the sniper fire,” state-run National News Agency reported later on Friday.Full Story
Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awadh Asiri said Friday that Saudi King Abdullah encourages Lebanese national dialogue.
Following his meeting with President Michel Suleiman, Asiri conveyed King Abdullah’s keenness on the “fraternal and historical relationship with Lebanon and all its groups and sects,” National News Agency reported.Full Story
Germany said Friday it was "horrified" by the latest Syrian massacre and urged Russia to throw its support behind a tougher condemnation of Damascus by the United Nations Security Council.
Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said at a regular briefing that Syrian President Bashar Assad had lost all "legitimacy" and that a political solution was "unthinkable.”Full Story
British Ambassador to Lebanon Tom Fletcher stressed on Friday that the resumption of national dialogue proves that the Lebanese leaders are determined to work together to maintain stability.
“This sends an important signal of determination and resilience,” Fletcher said after meeting with President Michel Suleiman at the Baabda Palace.Full Story
China on Friday condemned the latest civilian killings in Syria, but refused to back a call by U.N.-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan to increase the pressure on the regime of President Bashar Assad.
Annan told the U.N. Security Council Thursday he feared the crisis would "spiral out of control" unless there is more international pressure on Assad.Full Story
Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Friday insisted that claims his supporters were involved in fighting in Syria were false, but said members of "splinter" groups could be involved in the violence.
"All these claims are lies," Sadr, a powerful Shiite cleric, said in a written response to a question from one of his followers over allegations that Sadrists are taking part in the violent suppression of the ongoing uprising against the Syrian regime.Full Story