Michel Suleiman
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Wikileaks: Hariri: Suleiman Assisting Syria and Hizbullah’s Agendas

A Wikileaks report revealed that caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri had advised the international community to keep Syria and Iran in a state of "imbalance".

He added, according to the leaked cable published exclusively in Al-Akhbar newspaper on Wednesday, that despite Hizbullah's claims of victory in the July 2006 war, the party was in fact greatly harmed in the war and it is weaker politically and militarily.

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Miqati: Constitution Doesn’t Allow Any Group to Get Decisive or Blocking Cabinet Share

Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati has noted that “the political, economic and social challenges facing our country, in addition to the dangerous developments in the region, require the formation of a balanced cabinet in which no group would have the upper hand over the other participating parties.”

“From the time I was designated to form the cabinet, we had decided, the president and I, to abide by the provisions of the Constitution, which defines the duties of each branch of government,” Miqati told his visitors Wednesday.

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Lebanese Officials Laud al-Rahi’s Election, Hope he Would Preserve Coexistence

Lebanese leaders welcomed the election of Beshara al-Rahi as the new Maronite Patriarch on Tuesday, hoping he would be successful in keeping Bkirki a place of unity among the Lebanese.

Al-Rahi will be “the best successor to the best predecessor,” President Michel Suleiman said in a statement.

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Gafo: We Expect the Formation of a Cabinet Soon

Spanish Ambassador Juan Carlos Gafo expected the Lebanese government to be formed soon and stressed his country’s support for the course of justice in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s assassination case.

In remarks to An Nahar daily published Tuesday, Gafo said that Premier-designate Najib Miqati told him that the cabinet would be formed a few days after the rally at Martyrs Square on March 13.

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Optimism Fades as Cabinet Formation Still Awaits Deal on Fate of Interior Ministry Portfolio

The optimism about the possibility of forming the government this week began fading after media reports said that Lebanese leaders haven’t yet reached an agreement on the distribution of portfolios.

“The most complex obstacle impeding the formation of the cabinet until now is the interior ministry portfolio which requires further consultations and contacts,” a source following Premier-designate Najib Miqati’s efforts to form the government told pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat in remarks published Tuesday.

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Geagea Hopes Miqati Would Pay Attention to More than Half of Lebanese: Suleiman is Listening

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea thanked on Monday all those who participated in the March 13 rally, calling on President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati to take into consideration the views of more than half of the Lebanese who participated in the demonstration.

He criticized during a press conference after meeting with Deputy Speaker Farid Makari and MP Farid Habib “attempts by the other camp to belittle yesterday’s events.”

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New Government in Upcoming Days … Naji al-Boustani Settled Dispute between Suleiman and Aoun

The government formation process will witness intensified efforts next week aimed at addressing the demands of the concerned sides, according to informed sources.

Newspaper reports said that the dispute over the interior ministry portfolio has been settled in former minister Naji al-Boustani’s favor, who received congratulations on this matter from Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun during their meeting on Thursday.

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Suleiman after Meeting Shami: We Hope Contacts Will Eliminate Obstacles Facing Government Formation

President Michel Suleiman called on Friday all sides in Lebanon to exercise diligence and calm down the political rhetoric in order to ease the tensions and return to dialogue.

He said after holding talks with caretaker Foreign Minister Ali Shami: “We hope the current contacts would help eliminate the obstacles hindering the government formation.”

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Cabinet Could be Formed Next Week After Reported Deal on Interior Ministry Portfolio

Premier-designate Najib Miqati and other officials were mum on Friday on the progress made in the government formation process despite media reports that the cabinet line-up could be announced soon following a deal on the controversial interior ministry portfolio.

Miqati headed to the north to take part in Friday prayers there and meet with personalities in the port city of Tripoli. He returned the same day.

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March 14 Campaign Against Arms Expected to Push for Quick Cabinet Formation

The March 14 alliance’s campaign against Hizbullah’s arms is expected to push for the quick formation of the new government, An Nahar newspaper reported Thursday.

The daily quoted Speaker Nabih Berri’s advisor MP Ali Hassan Khalil as saying that “the appropriate answer to the slogans launched by the March 14 team is to speed up the government formation process.”

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