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Great Lebanese Composer Walid Ghulmiyeh Mourned in Beirut Church

Lebanon's great composer Walid Ghulmiyeh's funeral was held at noon Saturday at St. Nicolas Church in Achrafieh. His body will be later taken to his birthplace in Marjeyoun town in the South, to be buried in the family cemetary.

Ghulmiyeh, President of the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music, had died at the age of 73 after a long battle with illness, state-run National News Agency reported Tuesday.

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Jerusalem Post: Hizbullah Has over 50,000 Rockets

An Israeli officer revealed that the Israeli army had amassed some 200 targets in Lebanon ahead of the July 2006 war, including 100 houses and storage areas the party had used to safe-keep long-range missiles it had received from Iran, reported the Jerusalem Post on Friday.

He added that these targets were all destroyed in the first night of the war.

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Aoun: We Will Twist Arm of U.S. Intelligence in Lebanon Like We Twisted Israel’s

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun announced on Saturday that Lebanon’s future will be stable, ruling out the eruption of a civil or sectarian war or Sunni-Shiite conflict in the country.

He said upon his arrival to the southern town of Mlita: “We will twist the arm of U.S. Intelligence in Lebanon like we twisted that of Israel.”

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Russia Supports STL, Urges Officials to Form New Cabinet

Russian ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin urged the Lebanese to speed up the government formation process in order for the new Cabinet to improve cooperation with Russia, As Safir newspaper reported on Saturday.

Zasypkin stressed on “forming a strong government in Lebanon, capable of leading the country on the security, economy, and political levels.”

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S-S Agreement Back in Circulation to Resolve Cabinet Formation Crisis

The slowdown in the cabinet formation process and the developments in Syria have negatively affected the efforts to produce the government lineup, which explains the return to the regional-Arab equation of the S-S agreement, al-Liwaa newspaper reported on Saturday.

An informed source told the newspaper that going back to the S-S agreement, the Saudi-Syrian efforts to end Lebanon’s political crisis, is not unlikely seeing as the Doha agreement and the Arab-regional-international alliance that protected it have been eliminated.

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Miqati’s Circles: Excessive Optimism Aimed at Pressuring PM-Designate

Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati’s circles questioned the excessive optimism surrounding the possible announcement of a new government, saying that they are “out of place.”

They added however that the circumstances are positive, “but more time is needed for consultations over a number of issues.”

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Miqati Forgives Hariri: His Actions Didn’t Fit his Position

Premier-designate Najib Miqati told An Nahar newspaper on Saturday that he forgives caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri for treating him inappropriately after his appointment as PM-designate in January.

“I forgive him (Hariri) for how he treated me, and I hope that he recognizes in the future that these actions didn’t suit his position and I didn’t deserve it,” he said.

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Suleiman Waiting Last Cabinet Lineup Draft to Announce his Candidates

President Michel Suleiman is waiting for Premiere-designate Najib Miqati’s cabinet lineup to express his opinion about it and to add his share of ministers, An Nahar newspaper reported on Saturday.

“Suleiman told the two Khalils on Thursday (Speaker Nabih Berri's advisor MP Ali Hasan Khalil and Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's advisor Hussein Khalil) that he will not announce any name before he examines the final draft of the formation,” the newspaper said.

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New Govt. Hurdles: Suleiman’s Veto, Arslan’s Demand, Naming 6th Sunni Minister

Three new obstacles have risen in the government formation process culminating in differences over naming the sixth Sunni minister, Lebanese Democratic Party leader MP Talal Arslan’s demand for a Cabinet portfolio, and President Michel Suleiman’s refusal to reappoint Adnan Sayyed Hussein as minister

The dispute over the sixth Sunni minister arose when Speaker Nabih Berri’s advisor MP Ali Hasan Khalil and Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s political advisor Hussein al-Khalil held talks with Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati on Friday afternoon.

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Hizbullah Strongly Denies Involvement in Syria Clashes

Hizbullah on Friday strongly denied media reports accusing the Shiite party of being involved in the ongoing clashes in Syria, describing them as “rumors aimed at inciting sectarian tensions.”

“Lately, some Arab and Israeli media outlets and a number of websites have been circulating rumors accusing Hizbullah of being involved in the military confrontations taking place in some Syrian regions,” said Hizbullah in a statement.

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