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Hoff in Fleeting Visit to Lebanon, U.N. Awaiting Israel’s Position on Demarcating Maritime Border

U.S. Special Middle East Peace Envoy's assistant, Frederick Hoff, paid a quick visit to Beirut on Thursday during which he met with a delegation from the army command to discuss matters related to the Lebanese-Israeli maritime border and the security situation in southern Lebanon, reported the daily An Nahar Friday.

The military delegation informed him that Lebanon is entitled to demarcate its maritime border, and therefore it has no intention to relinquish this right, said As Safir on Friday.

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Williams Meets Baroud, Hopes New Government Will be Formed in a Few Weeks’ Time

U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams hoped on Monday that a new government would be formed in a few weeks’ time in order for it to tackle the recent security unrest in the country, among other matters.

He said after holding talks with Caretaker Interior Minister Ziad Baroud that this issue should be at Lebanese politicians’ main concern.

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More than 100 Bodies Found in West Ivory Coast

U.N. investigators have found more than 100 bodies in the past 24 hours in western Ivory Coast in what appeared to have been ethnically driven killings, the U.N. human rights office said Friday.

"The human rights team investigating... in west Cote d'Ivoire found more than 100 bodies in the past 24 hours in three locations," said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

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Williams Meets al-Rahi, Miqati: We Look Forward to the Early Government Formation

U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams held talks on Thursday with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi, during which he welcomed his calls for openness and dialogue with other religions and other countries.

He said after the meeting: “I told him that the slogan of ‘Partnership and Love’ he has chosen was very timely and essential in this period of turbulence in the Arab region.”

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Paris: Ivory Coast's Gbagbo Negotiating His Surrender, Crisis May End within Hours

Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo hunkered down in a bunker at his home Tuesday after being cornered by his arch rival's followers, as his own forces silenced their weapons and asked for a ceasefire.

Having resisted calls to cede power to internationally recognized president Alassane Ouattara for four months, Gbagbo was now trying to strike a deal to quit, according to the former colonial power France.

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‘Carnival King’ Elected as Haiti’s New President

Michel Martelly, a carnival singer with a colorful past who seized the mantle of change, is Haiti's new president after storming to a landslide victory, preliminary results showed.

The 50-year-old faces the huge challenge of rebuilding the Caribbean nation, which was the poorest country in the Americas even before a January 2010 earthquake flattened the capital Port-au-Prince and killed more than 225,000 people.

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Iran Asks Ban to Stop West 'Intervention' in Region

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a telephone conversation has asked the U.N. chief to stop U.S. and Europe "intervention" in the region, the website of his office reported on Monday.

"The intervention of some European countries and America in the regional nations increases concern and makes circumstances more complicated," Ahmadinejad was quoted as telling U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

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Lebanon Resorts to U.N. for Help as Lebanese Flee to Dakar from Ivory Coast Violence

Lebanon’s ambassador to the U.N. Nawaf Salam will ask Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to deploy more U.N. troops in cities in the Ivory Coast where most Lebanese are concentrated and help them overcome the difficult conditions in the violence-torn country.

Salam told Speaker Nabih Berri during a telephone conversation that he would meet with Ban on Monday.

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Peacekeepers Take Control of Airport in Abidjan

Peacekeepers have taken control of the airport in Abidjan as forces loyal to the country's rival presidents’ struggle for control of Ivory Coast's main city, the French military said Sunday.

France has also boosted its Licorne (Unicorn) peacekeeping mission in the cocoa-rich nation by 300 to around 1,400 troops, where part of their mission is to protect foreigners from attacks and looting amid rising insecurity.

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U.S. Demands Gbagbo Step Down 'Immediately'

The United States early Sunday called on Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo to step down immediately, saying he was pushing the West African nation into lawlessness.

"The United States calls on former President Laurent Gbagbo to step down immediately," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement.

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