Michel Suleiman
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Gemayel: Suleiman Concerned Over Deadlock

Phalange party leader Amin Gemayel said that President Michel Suleiman has expressed concern over the political deadlock and the crippling of cabinet meetings and national dialogue sessions.

“President Suleiman is alone entitled to reveal the content of consultations” he is carrying out with Lebanese officials, Gemayel told al-Mustaqbal newspaper in remarks published Thursday.

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Jumblat Backs Suleiman’s Efforts to Revive National Dialogue

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat has said he supported President Michel Suleiman’s efforts to activate state institutions.

“We back him in his effort to revive dialogue and hold cabinet meetings,” Jumblat, who is on a private visit to Poland, told An Nahar daily during a telephone conversation.

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Cabinet Postpones Discussing 'False Witnesses' Until after Eid al-Adha

A consensus on postponing the thorny issue of "false witnesses" until after the Eid al-Adha holiday was reached during Wednesday's cabinet session, "after each side stated its point of view," Information Minister Tareq Mitri said after the session.

Mitri quoted President Michel Suleiman as saying that "there is no use of putting the issue -- of referring the false witnesses issue to the Judicial Council -- to the vote of the cabinet."

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Turkey Steps in to Limit Tension as Arab Leaders Gear up for Lebanon Visit

Turkey has reportedly stepped in to limit tension in Lebanon at a time when the country is gearing itself up for the visits of four top Arab leaders – Saudi King Abdullah, Syrian President Bashar Assad, Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and the King of Bahrain, Sheikh Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa.

As Safir daily quoted informed sources as saying Monday that Turkey is holding regional and international consultations to diffuse the tension that erupted over the expected announcement of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon's findings next fall.

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Report: Assad Willing to Start Border Demarcation with Lebanon at Sea

Syrian President Bashar Assad has reportedly warned his Lebanese counterpart Michel Suleiman from the dangers of international pressure to demarcate the border between the two countries while expressing readiness to start demarcation at sea.

Well-informed sources told As Safir newspaper in remarks published Thursday that Suleiman stressed during talks with Assad in Damascus on Tuesday on the need to demarcate the Lebanese-Syrian border.

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Budget Approval Drags On, Cabinet to Continue Debate on Monday

Cabinet again failed to approve the 2010 state budget and decided to continue debate on the issue in a session to be at Baabda Palace on Monday.

Information Minister Tareq Mitri told reporters that Transportation Minister Ghazi Aridi briefed Cabinet on the agreement reached between Middle East Airlines and the Pilots Union.

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Suleiman, Jumblat Helped Achieve 50/50 Vote Balance on Iran Sanctions

Cabinet clearly believed that 50/50 was the fair way to get with less fuss over the issue of voting against or abstain from voting for new U.N. Security Council sanctions on Iran.

So a decision not to side with either political camp was taken after Cabinet ministers were equally divided between voting against the U.N. proposal and abstaining from the vote.

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Berri: How was Cabinet's 'No Decision' Interpreted as Abstention?

Speaker Nabih Berri slammed the Lebanese government's "no decision" on U.N. Security Council sanctions against Iran, saying Lebanon should have voted against the draft resolution.

"I still insist on my position that I announced at Baabda palace that Lebanon should have voted against sanctions on Iran, which is a friendly country that has stood next to Lebanon," Berri told An Nahar daily in remarks published Thursday.

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