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Wikileaks: Khazen Advised Severing Ties between FPM and Hizbullah

Change and Reform bloc MP Farid al-Khazen had suggested severing ties between the Free Patriotic Movement and Hizbullah, revealed a leaked U.S. Embassy cable published exclusively in Al-Akhbar Thursday.

The MP also stressed the need to diminish Hizbullah’s military powers, said the Wikileaks cable dated July 2006.

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Wikileaks: Bassil Held Saniora Government Completely Responsible for July War

A leaked U.S. Embassy cable published exclusively in Al-Akhbar Thursday revealed that minister Jebran Bassil had informed a U.S. diplomat that Hizbullah intended to take into its own hands the situation of Lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails.

The minister said that over a month before the eruption of the July 2006 war, Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah had warned national dialogue participants that the party would tackle the case of the Lebanese prisoners and “therefore no one should have been surprised” with the break out the war on July 12.

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Wikileaks: Jumblat Supported Israeli Invasion of Southern Lebanon during July War

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat and MP Marwan Hamadeh both supported an Israeli invasion of southern Lebanon during the July 2006 war, said a leaked U.S. Embassy cable published exclusively in Al-Akhbar on Thursday.

The Wikileaks cable spoke of a late night meeting between U.N. special envoy Terje Roed-Larsen, Jumblat, and Hamadeh during which the former suggested handing over the two Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hizbullah to the Lebanese state.

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Franjieh Hopes for Stronger Ties with Bkirki, Al-Rahi Goes into Spiritual Retreat

Marada leader MP Suleiman Franjieh on Thursday congratulated Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi on his election and hoped for stronger ties with Bkirki.

“This is the beginning of new relations with Bkirki, and I hope we can cooperate,” Franjieh said after meeting with al-Rahi at the seat of the Maronite church.

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Wikileaks: Netanyahu Says Israel’s Failure in July War Empowered its Enemies in Lebanon

A leaked U.S. Embassy cable published exclusively in Al-Akhbar on Thursday revealed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s disappointment with the Jewish state’s failure in the July 2006 war, saying that it had mishandled the situation in Lebanon.

The Wikileaks cable also quoted him as saying before the U.S. Ambassador to Israel Richard Jones that the failure empowered Israel’s enemies in Lebanon.

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Miqati Intensifies Contacts to Break Cabinet Formation Deadlock

Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati will launch intense consultations with Lebanese officials on Thursday in an effort to break the impasse on the cabinet formation process, An Nahar daily said.

The newspaper said that talks between Miqati and Speaker Nabih Berri on Wednesday paved way for a series of meetings that the premier-designate is scheduled to hold with officials involved in the formation of the government.

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Grenade Tossed at Wahab Residence Building

Unknown assailants tossed overnight a hand grenade at the Beirut building where Tawhid movement leader Wiam Wahab resides, As Safir daily reported Thursday.

The newspaper said the incident caused material damage only.

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Cairo Vows to Support Efforts to Resume Dialogue Among Lebanese Foes

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi is “closely following the developments in Lebanon” and would exert all efforts to support the resumption of dialogue among all Lebanese parties, his spokesman Minha Bakhoum said.

Al-Arabi is concerned over the “decline in the possibilities of (holding) dialogue among the parties,” Bakhoum said in a statement on Wednesday.

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Jumblat in Damascus on Thursday, Calls for ‘Calm Dialogue’

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat is expected to hold talks with the assistant of the Syrian president’s deputy in Damascus on Thursday, As Safir daily reported.

The newspaper said that Jumblat would meet with Maj. Gen. Mohammed Nassif as part of consultations on the situation in Lebanon and the Arab world.

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Spain’s FM: Miqati Committed to International Obligations

Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez has said that Premier-designate Najib Miqati’s government would remain committed to Lebanon’s international obligations.

“My meeting with Miqati was fruitful … He wants to form (the cabinet) in a few days but he is seeking to include in it all forces and the biggest number of political factions in Lebanon,” Jimenez said during a press conference at Bustros Palace on Wednesday night.

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