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Lebanon’s Information Minister Tarek Mitri briefed the media following Wednesday’s cabinet session at Baabda Palace

False witnesses

A number of ministers suggested during that the “false witnesses file” be put to a vote if no consensus is reached, this prompted President Michel Suleiman to adjourn the session.

“The president said a vote would be of no use and the cabinet was adjourned.” Mitri said

Saudi Syrian initiative

Prime Minister Saad Hariri said that the Saudi-Syrian initiative to end Lebanon’s political impasse pertaining to the “false witnesses” issue does not mean Lebanese should avoid their responsibility to maintain calm and stability.

Hariri

Hariri briefed the cabinet about his recent trips , including his visit to Iran. Hariri stressed on the importance of Iran and Lebanon’s relations .

Ghajar

The cabinet addressed Israel’s decision to withdraw from the northern part of Ghajjar, but president Suleiman stressed that Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territory is still not the full implementation UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

Tension escalated in Lebanon following reports that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon will soon issue its indictment into the 2005 assassination of Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Last July, the Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said that the tribunal is “an Israeli project” that will indict Hezbollah members. Nasrallah accused Israel of being behind Hariri’s assassination but refused to provide the evidence to STL to support his claim. Hezbollah and its March 8 allies have been calling for the abolition of STL.

Some leaders are concerned that should the court indict Hezbollah members, it could lead to a repeat of the My 2008 incident when Hezbollah gunmen occupied west Beirut and tried but failed to occupy Mt Lebanon, resulting in the killing of over one hundred Lebanese.

The Pro Syrian Al Akhbar newspaper reported earlier in the month that Hezbollah has prepared a plan to take over Lebanon when STL issues its indictment for the 2005 murder of the late Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun , (a close ally of Hezbollah ) said on November 18 that Hezbollah might violently respond to an STL indictment that accuses Hezbollah party’s members in Hariri’s assassination.

On December 7 a leading Israeli Military Intelligence official expressed concerns that Hezbollah might seize control of Lebanese government institutions .

“Dozens will be killed when Hezbollah uses force and takes over government institutions,” senior Military Intelligence official Colonel Yossi Adler told the Knesset in ‘a possible scenario if Hezbollah is indicted by STL.’

March 8 politicians have called for the cabinet to task the Justice Council with investigating the issue of ( so called false ) witnesses who reportedly gave unreliable testimonies to the international probe into the 2005 assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri. However, March 14 politicians believe that the regular judiciary should handle the matter.

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