Michel Suleiman
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Nasrallah Snaps Back at Rivals: Hizbullah Continues to Back Aoun Candidacy

Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah reiterated that his ally Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun remains a strong candidate for the presidency.

“We will continue to back his candidacy,” Nasrallah, whose remarks were released by the party's press office Wednesday, said at the launching of a new university.

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Salam Holds onto Consensus although 'Vacuum Threatens Serail'

Prime Minister Tammam Salam has said that he was procrastinating on calling for a cabinet session to allow consultations taking place among officials to resolve the government crisis.

“The state's prestige is at stakes amid a paralysis striking its institutions,” Salam told An Nahar daily published on Monday.

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Hariri, Jumblat Discuss Measures to Remove Obstacles Facing Institutions

Al-Mustaqbal Movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri and Progressive Socialist Party chief MP Walid Jumblat have discussed ways to “remove the obstacles” facing state institutions, Hariri's press office announced on Thursday.

The statement said the meeting took place at Hariri's residence in France on Wednesday night.

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Hizbullah 'Backs Aoun in Cabinet and the Street'

Sources close to Hizbullah have stressed that the party backs all of the moves taken by its ally Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun inside and outside the cabinet.

Hizbullah “supports all of Aoun's moves inside the government and even on the streets,” the sources told pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat published on Thursday.

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Presidential Elections Adjourned Again

Speaker Nabih Berri postponed on Wednesday the presidential elections to next month following a lack of quorum at parliament, a sign that politicians were far from filling the prolonged vacuum in the country's top Christian post.

Berri postponed the session to September 2 after only 34 MPs from the March 14 alliance and his Development and Liberation bloc attended.

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Berri Says Aoun Lost Opportunity on Appointments, Criticizes Irresponsible Behaviors

Speaker Nabih Berri has said that Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun lost the opportunity of bringing his son-in-law as army chief by rejecting the names proposed by Defense Minister Samir Moqbel.

Berri, whose remarks were published in local dailies on Monday, told his visitors that an opportunity, which will not come again, has been lost.

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Berri Backs Extension of Officials' Terms if No Deal on Appointments

Speaker Nabih Berri reiterated that he backed the appointment of top security and military officials but would not reject the extension of their terms if the government failed to reach an agreement on the controversial issue.

“I am with the appointments … but if there were no consensus, then I would back the continued functioning of the institutions, meaning extension,” Berri, whose remarks were published in al-Joumhouria daily on Wednesday, told his visitors in Ain el-Tineh.

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Diplomatic Missions Fall Victim to Cabinet Paralysis

Diplomats have said that Paris was able to clinch the Lebanese authorities' approval to appoint Emmanuel Bonne as ambassador to Beirut despite the failure of several missions to receive a positive feedback from the Lebanese authorities.

The diplomats, who were not identified, told An Nahar daily published on Tuesday that “only France has so far been able to receive an official approval (from Beirut) to appoint Bonne.”

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FPM Makes Initiative on Appointments as Cabinet Set to Fail on Choosing Army Chief of Staff

The Free Patriotic Movement has reportedly made an initiative to resolve the dispute on the appointment of high-ranking military and security officials as the cabinet, which is set to discuss the matter this week, is expected to fail to appoint a new miltiary chief of staff.

An Nahar daily said Monday that the proposal was made by FPM chief MP Michel Aoun during his meeting with Defense Minister Samir Moqbel last week.

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FPM Source: Extending Terms of Military Officials a 'Political Trash'

A prominent source of the Free Patriotic Movement warned on Thursday against the consequences of extending the terms of the army commander and the chief of staff, describing the move as a “political trash.”

“Extending the terms of the army chief and the chief of staff will escalate tension and those who insist to violate the constitution will be blamed,” the source told As Safir daily.

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