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Miqati: I Don’t Follow Anyone’s Agenda

Premier-designate Najib Miqati has stressed that he doesn’t “follow anyone’s agenda” even if Hizbullah and its allies brought him to power.

“I have a friendship with Hizbullah and I also have contacts outside of Lebanon, but it doesn’t mean I follow anyone’s agenda,” Miqati, 55, said in an interview with Bloomberg at his Beirut office.

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U.S. Ambassador to China Resigns Amid 2012 Rumors

U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman resigned Monday, amid reports that he may seek the Republican nomination in 2012 and try to deprive his boss, President Barack Obama, of a second term.

Huntsman, a smooth former Utah governor, wrote to Obama to announce he would resign effective from April 30, after the White House noted he had told several officials he planned to leave in the first part of this year.

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Report: Israel Seeking Western Support for Mubarak

Israel has told its diplomats in the United States, Europe and elsewhere to encourage their host nations to support the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, daily Haaretz reported Monday.

The newspaper said Israel's foreign ministry told its diplomats to stress that it is in "the interest of the West" and of "the entire Middle East to maintain the stability of the regime in Egypt."

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U.S. Begins Evacuating Nationals Amid More Warnings Over Egypt Revolt

The United States started organizing Sunday the evacuation of its nationals from Egypt as an angry anti-government revolt raged into a sixth day amid increasing lawlessness and mass jail breaks.

"The U.S. embassy in Cairo informs U.S. citizens in Egypt who wish to depart that the department of state is making arrangements to provide transportation to safehaven locations in Europe," an embassy statement said, as other countries issued travel warnings and tourists scrambled for flights out.

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Feltman: We Are Keen on Seeing Lebanese Commitment to International Resolutions

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman stressed that U.N. Security Council members have expressed their keenness on seeing a Lebanese commitment to international resolutions following the formation of a new government led by Caretaker PM Najib Miqati.

Feltman told pan-Arab daily al-Hayat in remarks published Friday that his talks with French officials in Paris touched on the developments in Lebanon. Security Council members have expressed to him their keenness on Lebanon’s commitment to resolutions 1701 and 1757, he said.

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Connelly Meets Hariri, Reiterates U.S. Support for Stability, STL

U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly held talks Thursday evening with outgoing premier Saad Hariri at his residence in downtown Beirut, the U.S. Embassy announced in a statement.

Connelly and Hariri discussed the ongoing parliamentary consultations and the position of the Mustaqbal bloc, said the statement.

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Miqati Stresses Openness and Dialogue, Says Keen on Good Ties with U.S.

Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati stressed on openness and dialogue and said he was comfortable at the local atmosphere and the prospect of ties with the Arab world and the international community.

In remarks to An Nahar and al-Hayat newspapers on Thursday, Miqati described regional and international reactions to his mission as “very good.”

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Clinton, Judeh Hope Lebanese Will Sustain Independence, Sovereignty

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that Lebanese rather than foreigners should decide the country's future.

The United States has warned of effects on bilateral relations after billionaire businessman Najib Miqati was named premier-designate with the support of Hizbullah and its allies.

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U.S. Cracks Down on Lebanese Cocaine Ring

The United States on Wednesday levied sanctions against an alleged Lebanese cocaine trafficking ring, with operations spanning Latin America, West Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

The group -- led by Ayman Joumaa and including at least nine other people and 19 entities -- was said to have laundered proceeds worth as much as $200 million per month.

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Riyadh Advises Citizens Not to Travel to Lebanon Amid Measures by Arab, Foreign Embassies

The Saudi Foreign Ministry advised its citizens not to travel to Lebanon at this stage as Ambassador Ali Awad Assiri denied to pan-Arab daily al-Hayat that the embassy had asked Saudis to leave the country as soon as possible.

“Given the situation in Lebanon, the Foreign Ministry advises Saudi citizens not to travel to Lebanon at this stage and until calm and stability” are restored, said a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.

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