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Assad Meets Sayyed

Syrian President Bashar Assad held talks with former head of the General Security Department Maj. Gen. Jamil al-Sayyed who will hold a press conference soon to make announcements about his lawsuit against several Lebanese personalities in Syrian courts.

Sayyed's media office said the meeting that lasted two hours in Damascus touched on the general situation.

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Aoun: Sunday, I Held Ministers Accountable for Shortcomings, Today I Say they're Guilty of Avoiding Duties

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun stated Tuesday that he did not launch a campaign against President Michel Suleiman last Sunday, instead saying that "those who defended him are the ones who insulted him."

Addressing the criticism against ministers, he said after the FPM's weekly meeting: "On Sunday, I held the ministers accountable for shortcomings, but today I say they are guilty of avoiding their responsibilities."

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Mustaqbal: We Reject Attacks against the President and Government

The Mustaqbal bloc condemned on Tuesday the recent attacks and accusations against President Michel Suleiman, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and other officials.

It said after its weekly meeting headed by former Premier Fouad Saniora that these positions are rejected, and instead commended Suleiman and Hariri for their roles in "bolstering national unity and protecting the constitution and institutions."

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Bassil Defends Aoun, Calls for Constitutional Amendment to President's Powers

Energy and Water Minister Jebran Bassil defended his father-in-law, Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun, and called for a constitutional amendment to boost the President's powers.

Bassil was responding to reactions that emerged following Aoun's verbal attack on President Michel Suleiman.

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Qaouq: Trying False Witnesses and Those behind Them Natural Solution to End Crisis

Hizbullah's official in southern Lebanon Sheikh Nabil Qaouq stressed Monday that all sides in Lebanon have agreed that trying false witnesses in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri may be the natural solution to the current crisis in Lebanon.

He said that the false witnesses have misled the investigation and caused an internal political crisis in the country, as well as harmed Lebanese-Syrian relations for five years.

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Aoun to Quit National Dialogue

Free Patriotic Movement leader Gen. Michel Aoun has decided to quit all-party national talks to discuss Hizbullah weapons, the daily As-Safir reported Tuesday.

The newspaper, citing an MP close to Aoun, said the FPM leader is likely to announce his decision during the next national dialogue session.

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Jumblat: Hariri's Stances Remind us of Taef which Some are Trying to Forget

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat has said that Prime Minister Rafik Hariri's stances stress the importance of the Saudi-Syrian umbrella and the Taef accord.

Hariri is convinced of his personal ties with Syrian President Bashar Assad and the political relationship with Damascus, Jumblat told al-Akhbar newspaper in remarks published Tuesday.

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Geagea Regrets Turning Politics into Clashes over Illegal Arms

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea expressed regret at turning politics in Lebanon into clashes over illegal arms in Beirut, a statement issued by his press office said Thursday.

Geagea "regrets turning politics in Lebanon into continued political confrontations over illegal arms in Beirut streets or other areas rather than getting occupied with the people's social, economic and living problems," the statement said.

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Shehayyeb: Our Demand of Disarmament Cannot be Solved Except through Politics

Minister of the Displaced Akram Shehayyeb stressed Thursday that all political powers are demanding that Beirut become arms-free.

He said: "This is an historic issue that cannot be solved except through politics."

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Jumblat: Borj Abi Haidar More Dangerous than Any External War

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat said the slogan of arms-free Beirut was meaningless and warned that the Borj Abi Haidar clashes were more dangerous than any external war.

In remarks to As Safir newspaper on Thursday, Jumblat said the deadly street battles between Hizbullah and al-Ahbash gunmen last week came in reaction to the tripartite summit held at Baabda between President Michel Suleiman, Saudi King Abdullah and Syrian leader Bashar Assad.

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