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Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said on Sunday that “Lebanon’s ties with all countries must be excellent.”

“We have no choice but to be on excellent terms with the countries of the world except for Israel of course ( Lebanon and Israel are considered at a state of war) . Our main priority is national unity, and it is on that basis we approach all positions towards foreign countries,” Mikati was quoted by National News Agency as saying.

Mikati who headed to New York on Saturday , also said that the objective of his meetings in New York is to protect Lebanon and reinforce its role on the international level.

“We have to work for the interest of Lebanon, and my message [for the Lebanese] is to remain calm and respect one another,” he added.

The PM also said that he will be “meeting with the Foreign Ministers of the US, Russia and China as well as the ambassadors of Arab countries to the UN.”

He added that during his upcoming meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he will discuss “the strengthening of the Lebanese army and the Lebanese security forces.”

Mikati said that will also “meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and will discuss the international resolutions that pertain to Lebanon and the Palestinian’s bid to be accepted as a full member in the UN.”

In New York Mikati to chair sessions of the UN Security Council, which Lebanon heads for the month of September, National Agency reported on Sunday. The council is expected to discuss the Palestinian’s bid for full UN membership on Monday

Regarding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which is investigating the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, Mikati said that “Lebanon’s interest is to respect all international resolutions, including the STL, and not to be selective in implementing them.”

“But at the same time, Lebanon’s interest must be our priority,” he added.

Mikati also said that “he has not yet received any official stance [from Lebanese parties] rejecting the STL, and that the government has not yet discussed the STL.”

Regarding the oil exploration file, Mikati informed that “he will submit the necessary maps of Lebanon’s exclusive economic zone to the UN and will ask for its protection.”

In July, Israel’s cabinet approved a map of the Jewish state’s proposed maritime borders with Lebanon, which is to be submitted to the UN.

Following Israel’s approval of the map, Energy Minister Gebran Bassil countered that Lebanon will not give up its maritime rights. Lebanon and Israel differ on their interpretation of the maritime border.

The Lebanese Parliament in August 2010 passed an oil exploration bill, which calls for the establishment of a treasury and a committee to oversee exploration and drilling off of Lebanon.

Mikati already met in New York with Mahmoud Jibril, president of the executive council of the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC).

Jibril promised the PM to investigate the disappearance of the Lebanese-Iranian Shiite cleric Imam Moussa Sader and to inform the Lebanese state on every development.

The Amal Movement ( which was headed by Sadr before his disappearance) , claims that Libya is complicit in the 1978 disappearance of its founder. Ousted Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi has repeatedly denied involvement.

Now Lebanon, Agencies

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