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Barak: Ahmadinejad's Lebanon Visit Reflects Hizbullah's Growing Dependence on Iran

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Lebanon indicates Hizbullah's dependence on Iran was growing, adding that Israel must remain vigilant.

"Ahmadinejad's visit to Lebanon reflects Hizbullah's growing dependence on Iran," Barak said as he toured the Golan Heights on Wednesday.

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Suleiman to Switzerland

President Michel Suleiman will head to Switzerland on Tuesday to take part in the 13th Francophone summit to be held in the Lake Geneva town of Montreux despite an upset over the Nov 29 Swiss ban on minaret construction.

The International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF) comprises 56 member states and governments, 3 associate members, and 14 observers.

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Clinton on Ahmadinejad's Visit: We Reject Any Efforts to Destabilize Lebanon

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday said she rejects any efforts to destabilize Lebanon after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Beirut for a controversial visit.

"The United States supports the integrity and sovereignty of Lebanon. We reject any efforts to destabilize or inflame tensions within Lebanon," Clinton said in Kosovo where she was meeting political leaders on her two-day tour of the Balkans.

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March 14 Urges Ahmadinejad to Persuade Resistance to Join Confines of the State

The March 14 forces issued an open letter to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the occasion of his visit to Lebanon in which it hoped that the visit would "support our sovereign and independent country as well as our way of life, just as your predecessor's visit, President Mohammad Khatami, did and touched all the Lebanese hearts."

It stressed: "A group of Lebanese takes its strength from you and abuses it against the others, as well as against the state in an attempt to restore absurd and unfortunate adventures executed by different non-Lebanese parties successively for decades. This is half of the bitter truth. Its other half is that you are attempting to interfere, just like others that came before you, in our affairs, where foreign interference was only used to manipulate Lebanon internally; the big slogans and the good intentions could not block the actual truth of this use.

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Ahmadinejad Gets Warm Welcome In Beirut ... Suleiman: Iran Has Right to Peaceful Nuclear Energy Use

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Beirut Wednesday to a warm welcome and Lebanese President Michel Suleiman acknowledged that Iran has the right to peaceful nuclear energy use.

Huge crowds gathered in the streets of Beirut to welcome Ahmadinejad as he arrived Wednesday morning on a controversial visit that will take him to the doorstep of arch-foe Israel.

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Explosion Under Car of Pro-Hizbullah Sunni Cleric ahead of Ahmadinejad's Visit

A bomb exploded at dawn Wednesday under the car of a pro-Hizbullah Sunni cleric in the northern city of Tripoli, just hours ahead of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit, security sources said. No casualties were reported.

They said the explosion targeted the car of Sheikh Mustafa Malas, Imam Minyeh Mosque.

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Ahmadinejad Gets Warm Welcome in Beirut

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Beirut Wednesday to a warm welcome.

Huge crowds gathered in the streets of Beirut to welcome Ahmadinejad as he arrived on a controversial visit that will take him to the doorstep of arch-foe Israel.

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Politicians, Activists in Open Letter to Ahmadinejad: Don't Meddle in Lebanese Affairs

Lebanese politicians and members of civil society issued an open letter to Iran's president on Tuesday, accusing him on the eve of his official visit to Lebanon of meddling in the country's affairs.

The letter was signed by some 250 people, among them former MPs close to the Western-backed parliamentary majority, doctors, teachers and journalists. It lashed out at Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over Iran's support of Lebanon's Shiite armed group Hizbullah.

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Hariri Sponsors Reconciliation Ceremony for Aley Villages, Calls for Fortifying Civil Peace via Calm, Dialogue

Prime Minister Saad Hariri sponsored and attended Tuesday at the Grand Serail the signing ceremony of the reconciliation and return agreement for the towns of Abay, Bennieh and Ain Drafil in the district of Aley.

The ceremony was attended by Minister of the Displaced Akram Shehayeb, MPs Chant Gengenian, Fadi al-Habr, Dori Chamoun, Henri Helou, Fouad al-Saad and Alain Aoun, President of the Central Fund of the Displaced Fadi Aramouni and the Director General of the Ministry of the Displaced Ahmed Mahmoud, Marwan Abu Fadel representing MP Talal Arslan and members of return committees in the three towns.

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Geagea: Hizbullah Weapons are Biggest Cause for Strife

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on Tuesday said Hizbullah weapons are "the biggest cause for strife."

"They say that the issue of false witnesses will cause strife in Lebanon. No. You are a cause for unrest. Hizbullah weapons, to us, are the biggest cause for strife," Geagea said at a press conference from Maarab.

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