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Al-Rahi from Vatican: We Wish Cabinet Success to Meet People’s High Expectations

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi wished the new government success on Tuesday in order for it to meet the people’s high expectations given the crises in the Middle East.

He made his statements from the Vatican, where he arrived on Sunday to take part in the Middle East synod.

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Miqati to Diplomats: Commitment to STL Should be Coupled with Preservation of Civil Peace

Prime Minister Najib Miqati has stressed to foreign diplomats that Lebanon would remain committed to international resolutions including the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

During separate meetings he held with Arab and Asian ambassadors, and U.S. Ambassador Maura Connelly on Monday, Miqati said that Lebanon is committed to the tribunal that will try ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s suspected assassins.

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Efforts to Form Leadership Council for the North to Contain Security Incidents

Tripoli Mufti Sheikh Malek al-Shaar has hoped for the announcement of a leadership council over the weekend to contain any incident that could erupt in the northern city.

In remarks to al-Liwaa daily published Tuesday, al-Shaar said that a committee was formed on Monday after a meeting held between al-Mustaqbal bloc leader Fouad Saniora and Tripoli MPs and officials.

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Jumblat Fears U.S. will Avenge Syria by Imposing Sanctions on Lebanon

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat has expressed fears that the U.S. will settle scores with Syria in Lebanon through targeting the new Lebanese cabinet.

“According to the opposition and the so-called international community, this is Hizbullah’s cabinet, which means Syria’s (government),” Jumblat told al-Akhbar newspaper on Tuesday. “Then avenging Damascus would be by a fierce battle through imposing sanctions on Lebanon.”

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March 14 Officials Discuss with Hariri New Platform after '2nd Stage of Coup'

Meetings held between top March 14 officials and former Premier Saad Hariri in Paris were aimed at finding ways to confront the new cabinet “after the constitutional coup entered its second stage,” said a high-ranking official in the coalition on Tuesday.

The March 14 forces had said that the collapse of Hariri’s cabinet in January was the result of a coup staged by Hizbullah and its allies. In remarks to al-Liwaa newspaper, the official considered the formation of Prime Minister Najib Miqati’s government as the second stage of the coup.

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Suleiman Says Cabinet Lifespan Hinges on Performance, Vows to Hold Accountable Violators

President Michel Suleiman has said the containment of the deadly clashes in the northern port city of Tripoli last week were “a sign that the cabinet is capable of preserving stability,” stressing that its lifespan depends on the level of its performance.

In his first interview after the formation of Premier Najib Miqati’s government, Suleiman told An Nahar daily published Tuesday that the Tripoli “test succeeded in (enabling the cabinet) to hold a grip on the security situation."

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Phalange Holds Cabinet Responsible for Any Confrontation with International Community

The Phalange Party stated on Monday that the clashes in Tripoli would not have erupted had the Lebanese parties maintained their neutrality regarding the developments in Syria.

It said in a statement after its weekly politburo meeting: “It’s unfortunate that Syria is maintaining its negative policies towards Lebanon instead of tackling its accumulating internal affairs and introducing reform before it’s too late.”

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Nahhas: Abdul Monhem Youssef’s Days in State are Numbered

Labor Minister Charbel Nahhas stated on Monday that OGERO Telecom General Manager Abdul Monhem Youssef’s days in the Lebanese state are numbered.

He said during the launching of a free internet service at the Sioufi park in Beirut: “He tried to obstruct the functioning of the Telecommunications Ministry, but we succeeded in providing this service in Sioufi park.”

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Foreign Ministry Tells Ban Lebanon Opposes Israel-Cyprus Economic Zone

Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour informed on Monday United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of Lebanon’s opposition to the agreement between Cyprus and Israel over the establishment of an economic zone between them.

He said in a letter to Ban: “The agreement is a violation of Lebanon’s sovereign and economic rights, endangering the security of the region.”

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Lieberman: Iran Involved in Lebanese Developments, Suppressing Syria Protests

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman stated on Monday that even though the international community has focused its attention on the developments in the Arab world and negotiations between Palestine and Israel, the real danger in the region comes from Iran,

Confronting this danger should be a priority for Israel’s foreign policy, he added.

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