Michel Suleiman
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No Cabinet this Week as Miqati Sees Positive Signs in March 14 Speeches

Premier-designate Najib Miqati’s circles said speeches made on ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s sixth assassination anniversary had some positive signs that are “consistent with Miqati’s approach.”

The circles told An Nahar daily in remarks published Tuesday that the speeches of Caretaker Premier Saad Hariri, Phalange party leader Amin Gemayel, Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea and former minister Mohammed Abdul Hamid Baidoun at the BIEL rally were consistent with Miqati’s “conviction on the need for dialogue and moderation.”

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New Cabinet Faces Obstacles of Distribution of Portfolios: Vetoes on Both Sides and Impossible Demands

The upcoming two days are expected to witness intense efforts to tackle the distribution of portfolios and the appointment of new ministers, even though Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati still faces obstacles through “vetoes” from the March 8 and 14 political camps, as well as impossible demands by the new majority, informed political sources told the daily An Nahar Monday.

No new development has taken place in the ongoing negotiations between Miqati and the Christians in the new majority and the March 14 camp.

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Miqati Adopts ‘Silent Diplomacy’ to Form ‘Strong Cabinet’

Premier-designate Najib Miqati is mulling to form a 24-member “strong cabinet” through “silent diplomacy,” the billionaire businessman and his circles told An Nahar newspaper.

Miqati said in remarks published Saturday that he was seeking to form “a strong cabinet that would launch a relentless work through competent ministers.”

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Harb: Should Suleiman and Miqati Form One-Sided Government then We Will Become the Opposition

Caretaker Labor Minister Butros Harb stated on Wednesday that the March 14 camp will become the opposition in Lebanon should President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati approve the formation of a one-sided government.

He told Tele Liban: “Should they choose against such a decision, then they should find a way to establish a national unity government.”

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Bishop Boulos Matar: Strong, Capable State Remains Sole Protector of Lebanon

Beirut Maronite Bishop Boulos Matar urged the Lebanese on Wednesday to consolidate the state because only a strong state is capable of protecting them.

In his sermon at St. Maroun church in Gemmayze, Matar said: “A strong, capable and just state remains the sole protector of Lebanon and the Lebanese.”

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Government Formation Stuck in Dispute between Suleiman, Aoun over Key Cabinet Post

A dispute between President Michel Suleiman and Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun over the distribution of Cabinet posts may delay the formation of a new government.

Al-Akhbar newspaper, which is close to the Hizbullah-led March 8 camp, on Monday quoted well-informed sources as saying that government formation hit a snag after a "conflict" broke out between Suleiman and Aoun over the interior ministry portfolio.

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Suleiman Won’t Approve New Government Unless it Reflects National Unity

President Michel Suleiman’s visitors revealed that he will not approve a new government unless it reflects national unity, reported the Saudi al-Watan newspaper on Sunday.

Sources from the Baabda Palace told the Kuwaiti al-Anbaa newspaper that Suleiman is keen on overcoming this “critical and difficult” phase in Lebanon by maintaining national unity, respecting the constitution, and resorting to the national dialogue.

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Suleiman Hopes for Cooperation Among Officials to Form Cabinet Capable of Confronting Challenges

President Michel Suleiman hoped on Saturday that Lebanese officials would cooperate with Premier-designate Najib Miqati to form a cabinet that would face administrative, economic and security challenges.

The government should be formed “based on the democratic principles that distinguish Lebanon,” Suleiman said.

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Cabinet ‘Identity’ to be Unveiled as Soon as March 14 Announces its Decision to Miqati

Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati is expected to hold a “very important meeting” with a high-ranking March 14 official on Friday, An Nahar newspaper reported.

The cabinet’s structure and “identity” would be decided after Friday’s meeting in the aftermath of days of consultations with several March 14 members, the daily said.

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Jumblat Meets Miqati, Calls for Forming National Unity Govt

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat on Thursday held talks with Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati in Verdun, in the presence of acting public works and transport minister Ghazi Aridi.

Jumblat declined to make a statement after the meeting. However, MTV reported that talks between the two men did not tackle the distribution of portfolios in the new cabinet.

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