1. Wide exterior of Lebanese prime minister's office in Beirut
2. Lebanese prime minister Fuad Saniora taking his place at news conference
3. Cutaway of cameramen
4. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Fuad Saniora, Lebanese prime minister:
"Do not be afraid and do not despair. We have a right to stand strong in the defence of our independence and our democratic system."
5. Cutaway of camera
6. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Fuad Saniora, Lebanese Prime Minister:
"Lebanon's independence is threatened and its democratic system is in danger. We will not accept the return of the old regency to our country in order not to make it a space for conflicts."
7. Cutaway hands writing
8. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Fuad Saniora, Lebanese Prime Minister:
"We will not allow them to topple the democratic system, its organisations and its basis. We will not accept a state inside a state. We are deep-rooted to our legitimate and constitutional government for all Lebanon and for all the Lebanese"
9. Wide of news conference
10. Walking shot of Saad Hariri, the son of the slain former premier Rafik Hariri, who heads the anti-Syrian parliamentary majority in Lebanon
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Saad Hariri, son of the slain former premier Rafik Hariri:
This is a democratic country and they are free to demonstrate any way they want. This is what democracy is all about. In regards of bringing down the government, they wouldn't be able to bring down the government because the government has the support of the majority of the parliament and the majority of the Lebanese people"
12. Cutaway of Lebanese flag
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Saad Hariri, son of the slain former premier Rafik Hariri:
"We don't understand until now why they are demonstrating and for what reason. For us it is obvious because they don't want the international tribunal. They don't want 1701. They don't want Paris 3. What is the vision of this group (Hezbollah) for the future of Lebanon? Nobody has a clue, except to protect the interests of Syria in Lebanon"
Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora warned on Thursday that Lebanon's democracy was in danger after Hezbollah's call for protests to bring down his government.
"Lebanon's independence is threatened and its democratic system is in danger," he said in a nationally televised address from his office on the eve of an expected massive protest by Hezbollah and its allies aimed at ousting his cabinet.
"Do not be afraid and do not despair. We have a rightful cause," he said.
Earlier on Thursday in a television broadcast the leader of Hezbollah, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, called on the Lebanese people to rally on Friday afternoon in Beirut's main square for a peaceful protest to force Saniora's government to resign.
Saniora, who is backed by the United States and an anti-Syrian parliamentary majority, has been locked in a political power struggle with Hezbollah, which is supported by Syria and Iran, and its allies.
The call for protests came after weeks of political tension between pro-Syrian groups in the opposition, led by the Shiite Muslim Hezbollah, and anti-Syrian factions supporting the government.
Last week, Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel was assassinated in a suburban Beirut street, renewing fears that the political crisis was carrying Lebanon back to the sectarian violence of the 1975-90 civil war.
Subsequently there have been scattered unrest in Christian areas of Beirut and Shiite Muslims have rioted in their neighbourhoods.
Meanwhile, the leader of Lebanon's anti-Syrian bloc warned on Thursday that Syria was behind planned Hezbollah protests to bring down the
government, trying to restore its power in the country.
Saad Hariri, son of the slain former premier Rafik Hariri, vowed the campaign would fail, but called for restraint among his supporters over the Hezbollah demonstration.
In an interview with The Associated Press, he said Friday would be a day to show "our resolve .... our calm."
"They won't be able to bring down the government, because the government has the support of the majority of the parliament and the majority of the
Lebanese people,'' he said.
The anti-Syrian bloc dominates parliament and the government, elected on broad support among Lebanon's Christians and Sunni Muslims.
Hezbollah and pro-Syrian parties are demanding more power in the government.
Hariri said the pro-government groups would not react to the Hezbollah-led opposition protests, saying Syria hoped to foment a clash between them.
Syria's nearly three-decade domination of Lebanon ended last year, but the government's backers say Damascus is trying to restore influence, along with that of its ally Iran. Syria's allies in Lebanon say the United States is now dominating the government and calling the shots.
Hariri predicted that Hezbollah's demonstrations would run their course until they realised they could not topple the government .
"What is the vision of this group (Hezbollah) for the future of Lebanon? Nobody has a clue, except to protect the interests of Syria in Lebanon," Hariri said.