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Lebanese President Michel Suleiman delivered a speech during the inauguration of a sports hall at St. Joseph University in Beirut in which he praised the Christian-Islamic spiritual summit that was held at Bkirki on Thursday.

He said the summit should bolster dialogue and coexistence among Lebanese.

Commenting on the uprisings in the Middle east Suleiman said :”While we fear the consequences the Arab developments may have on their own people, we are satisfied that reforms in these countries are leading to the drafting of laws that Lebanon had adopted since its formation.”

Commenting on the cabinet formation he said :

“The delay in formation has been a burden and the disputes have prevented the prime minister-designate from taking decisive action in this matter.”

Commenting on the tension in the country Suleiman said : “Lebanon has no choice but to launch deep dialogue over how to implement the Taif accord.”

“This demands that the interests of the country be served, not those of various parties and factions”, he added, in a possible reference to MP Michel Aoun and Hezbollah demands

Commenting on the dispute with Aoun ( without naming him) over the ministry of interior Suleiman said :

“The Interior Minister should stand at an equal distance from all sides in order to ensure honest and free elections, similar to the last ones that were held,” he said in reference to the 2009 elections .

PM Designate Nagib Mikati and Speaker Nabih Berri also attended the inauguration of the sports hall

cabinet update :

LBC TV reported that the wave of optimism that had emerged on Wednesday concerning the cabinet formation process has almost evaporated due to more complications

MTV reported that the distribution of shares among the parties of the new majority prompted a meeting between the president’s adviser, Nazem al-Khouri, and the PM-designate.

Al-Manar TV reported that contacts are still ongoing concerning the cabinet formation process and the president has not torpedoed efforts aimed at reaching a solution. Earlier reports indicated that Suleiman retracted his agreement on naming retired Internal Security Forces Maj. Gen. Marwan Charbel for the interior ministry post.

Shameful

Caretaker Public Works and Transport Minister Aridi , who is a member of MP Walid Jumblatt’s bloc told NBN TV : I can’t speak of any positive steps in the cabinet formation process which is becoming increasingly ridiculous. Is it reasonable to spend three months trying to reach an agreement on the interior portfolio? This is shameful.

Blaming US

An Amal Movement MP and and a FPM MP blamed on Friday the delay on Mikati, the US and Suleiman

Amal MP Qassem Hashem told Akhbar al Yaum : Stalling of cabinet formation is due to US orders. While FPM MP Nabil Nicola told CNA : A new governmnet will not be formed due to the regional development . this decision was made by the US , Suleiman and Mikati

Lebanese president Michel Suleiman ( C) PM Designate Nagib Mikati ( R) and Speaker Nabih Berri (L) attended the inauguration of the sports hall at St. Joseph University in Beirut on Friday May 13, 2011
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