Michel Suleiman
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Suleiman Calls King Hamad, Asks Bahrain to Safeguard Interests of Lebanese

President Michel Suleiman has urged Bahrain to safeguard the interests of Lebanese expatriates in the Kingdom in line with strong Lebanese-Bahraini relations, a statement released by Baabda palace said.

Suleiman followed up on the situation of Lebanese in Bahrain during a phone conversation Sunday with Bahrain’s King Hamad.

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Estonian FM Says Lebanese Officials Keen on Finding Kidnapped Tourists

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said Monday that Lebanese officials informed him that Beirut authorities were making every effort to find seven Estonian tourists kidnapped in the Bekaa valley last week.

Paet met with President Michel Suleiman, Speaker Nabih Berri, Premier-designate Najib Miqati and Caretaker Interior Minister Ziad Baroud.

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Miqati to Unveil Cabinet Soon: We Can’t Ignore al-Rahi’s Stance from Baroud

Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati has reportedly said that he can’t ignore the latest stance of Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi who threw his support behind Caretaker Interior Minister Ziad Baroud.

Ad-Diyar daily on Monday quoted Miqati as saying that he “can’t ignore Patriarch al-Rahi’s stance about giving a portfolio to Baroud in the government.”

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Sources: Miqati to Announce Cabinet Lineup Based on Own Vision

Premier-designate Najib Miqati’s sources remained mum over the weekend on the consultations between him and Michel Aoun’s Change and Reform Bloc over the controversial interior ministry portfolio.

Bloc member MP Farid al-Khazen said however that the cabinet would not be formed soon and the size of the government hasn’t been settled yet.

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WikiLeaks: Suleiman Asserted that Army Will Not Interfere in July War

The Lebanese army will not intervene in the July 2006 war, announced then Army Commander General Michel Suleiman, revealed a leaked U.S. Embassy cable published by OTV.

The WikiLeaks cable dated July 18 reported on a meeting with then U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Jeffrey and then French Ambassador to Lebanon Bernard Emie.

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Lebanon Celebrates al-Rahi’s Inauguration Mass with Participation of High-Ranking Officials

The inauguration mass of Beshara al-Rahi, the country’s 77th Maronite patriarch, is scheduled to be held in Bkirki on Friday afternoon with the attendance of the country’s top leaders.

President Michel Suleiman, Speaker Nabih Berri, caretaker Premier Saad Hariri and Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati will participate in the ceremony that is scheduled to start at 5:00 pm. Cabinet Ministers, MPs, party leaders, diplomats, heads of the country’s different sects and other dignitaries will also attend the event which will be followed by a dinner to be hosted by al-Rahi.

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30-Member Cabinet to Witness Light Soon Amid Reported Deal on Interior Ministry Portfolio

The Lebanese were optimistic on Friday that the new government would be formed within days after a new draft lineup proposed by Premier-designate Najib Miqati reportedly received the consent of major political parties.

“Lebanon will have a government before the end of the month. The next few days are decisive and crucial,” a source close to Miqati told several Lebanese dailies.

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Suleiman: Attempts to Interpret Constitutional Explanation on Government Formation Aimed at Thwarting it

President Michel Suleiman stressed on Wednesday that the constitution is clear in defining how governments are formed.

He said: “Attempts to interpret it in another way it are aimed at thwarting the formation, similar to what happened in the formation process of past governments.”

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Cabinet Looming on the Horizon as Miqati Presents Draft Lineup to Suleiman

Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati reportedly presented his first draft cabinet lineup to President Michel Suleiman on Tuesday, a sign that the new government could be formed soon.

An Nahar daily and a source close to Miqati said in remarks published Wednesday that both officials discussed the draft lineup which is a mix of politicians and technocrats.

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Suleiman Meets Miqati, Urges Everyone to Rise Above 'Selfishness, Individual Interests'

President Michel Suleiman on Tuesday noted that broadening the circle of contacts and meetings among the political parties was "an attempt to make a breakthrough in the ongoing consultations to form the new government."

"The current period requires everyone, without exception, to rise above disputes, selfishness and individual shares and interests for the sake of the rise of a government that garners confidence and works on boosting the productivity of ministries, administrations and institutions," the president added.

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