Michel Suleiman
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Jumblat: Aoun Should Not Try to Eliminate Suleiman

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat on Thursday revealed that he has advised Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun against trying to eliminate President Michel Suleiman's role in the Lebanese political life.

"I told General Aoun when he approached me concerning his demand to get the interior portfolio (in the new cabinet) that there is a president who has played a good role and who cannot be eliminated," Jumblat said in an interview on LBC TV network.

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Pope, Suleiman Hope New Govt Will Bring 'Longed-For Stability' to Lebanon

President Michel Suleiman and Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday expressed hope that a new government in Lebanon would bring "longed-for stability to the country, as it faced major internal and international challenges", the Vatican said.

The pontiff and Suleiman during their half-hour meeting also "stressed the importance of involving religious and civil authorities to make people aware of peace and reconciliation," the Vatican said in a statement.

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Cabinet Formation Delayed Amid Report Independent Figure Would Get Interior Ministry

The task of Premier-designate Najib Miqati to form the new government has become more difficult as President Michel Suleiman continued to hold onto the interior ministry portfolio which Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun is demanding as part of his share in the cabinet.

Speaker Nabih Berri’s sources told As Safir daily that the speaker stressed to Miqati during their meeting on Wednesday to speed up the government formation process. However, Miqati’s sources said no major progress was made in solving the deadlock over the interior ministry.

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Saint Maroun Statue Unveiled at the Vatican

The statue of Saint Maroun was unveiled at Saint Peter’s square at the Vatican on Wednesday during a ceremony attended by President Michel Suleiman, Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir and Pope Benedict XVI.

A large number of Lebanese MPs, officials and former lawmakers also attended the event which was followed by a mass held by Sfeir.

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Geagea Accuses Aoun of Seeking to Push Suleiman to Resign

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea ruled out the formation of a government soon and accused Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun of pushing President Michel Suleiman to resign.

In remarks to As Safir daily on Wednesday, Geagea said: “Issues linked to the international tribunal and Hizbullah’s arms no longer afford vague stances” from Premier-designate Najib Miqati.

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ArabNet: 2011 Set to Be the Year of the Arab Entrepreneur

ArabNet, the largest conference for the Arab web industry is to bring together over 1,000 Arab web business leaders, investors, mentors and start-ups. The four-day event takes place in Beirut on March 22-25 under the Patronage of H.E. General Michel Suleiman, President of Lebanon and in collaboration with the Central Bank of Lebanon.

The event is set to play host to over 80 speakers from leading companies in the region and from around the world, bringing together the region’s top executives, entrepreneurs, developers, and investors to cover the industry’s latest trends.

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Berri: This Week Will See the Beginning of the Final Stage of Cabinet Birth

This week should be decisive for Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati’s attempts to form a new government, Speaker Nabih Berri told the English-language The Daily Star newspaper.

“This week will be decisive. It will see the beginning of the final stage of the birth of the new government,” Berri said in the remarks published Tuesday.

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No Cabinet this Week as Suleiman Travels to Rome, Kuwait

President Michel Suleiman travels to Rome on Tuesday to participate in a ceremony that would unveil the St. Maroun Statue at the Vatican, further delaying the formation of the government.

The ceremony will take place at the St. Peter’s square on Wednesday and will be attended by Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir, Lebanese expatriates and representatives of political parties.

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Miqati: Lebanon Holds Onto Justice, International Resolutions

Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati stressed Monday that Lebanon holds onto its ties with the international community and the concept of justice.

“Lebanon holds onto the best of relations with the international community, the respect of international resolutions and the concept of justice,” Miqati told a visiting Dutch parliamentary delegation.

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Suleiman: Israel Must Withdraw from South, Implement Resolution 1701 in its Entirety

President Michel Suleiman stressed on Monday the need for Israel to withdraw from all Lebanese territory in the South and commit to implementing all articles of U.N. Security Council resolution 1701.

He also emphasized after holding talks with a Dutch delegation headed by Hendrik Jan Ormel the importance of granting Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homeland.

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