Michel Suleiman
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Girault Tackles Presidential Crisis with Berri, Salam

The Director of the Department of the Middle East and North Africa at the French Foreign Ministry discussed Friday the presidential impasse with Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Tammam Salam.

Jean-François Girault separately tackled with the two officials the protracting presidential deadlock and the latest developments in the region.

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Salam Meets King Salman: Appointment of Civil Servants Shouldn't Cripple Cabinet

Prime Minister Tammam Salam met Wednesday with Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz at his Royal palace in Jeddah.

Saudi King Salman held a meeting behind doors with Salam, who was accompanied by a ministerial delegation.

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Berri Shies Away from Responding to March 14 Calls on Changing Quorum

Speaker Nabih Berri has described Lebanon as a democracy but did not elaborate on calls made by March 14 MPs to reduce the quorum required to hold the presidential elections.

Berri said in remarks published in several local dailies on Wednesday that Lebanon is a “democratic state.”

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Vatican Dispatches Envoy to Lebanon to Tackle Presidential Crisis

A Vatican envoy will reportedly visit Lebanon on Friday at the head of a Papal delegation, with an agenda focusing on the presidential vacuum.

Vatican's former Foreign Minister Monsignor Dominique Mamberti will underline during his meetings the importance of ending the presidential stalemate, local newspapers reported on Wednesday.

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Salam: Some 'Not in Hurry' to End Vacuum, Solution Not in Triumph of Camp over Another

Prime Minister Tammam Salam lamented Tuesday that “some parties” are not “in a hurry” to put an end to the protracting presidential vacuum, stressing that any solution must not imply a victory for one political camp over the other.

“Some parties are not in a hurry to end the presidential vacuum despite the threats that the country is facing,” said Salam in an address to the nation marking one year since the vacuum began at the presidential palace.

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Consultative Gathering Warns Baabda Vacuum Threatening Lebanon's Existence

The so-called Consultative Gathering warned on Monday that the presidential vacuum is threatening the existence of the Lebanese state and entity.

In a statement read by Qazzi, the gathering, which is led by former President Michel Suleiman said: “The election of a head of state is necessary to protect the unity of Lebanon and the Lebanese.”

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Berri Accuses All Parties of Causing Baabda Vacuum since March 2014

Speaker Nabih Berri has stressed that Baabda Palace has been vacant for the past 14 months, blaming all political parties for the failure to elect a new president.

Several local dailies on Monday quoted Berri as telling his visitors that Lebanon has been suffering from a presidential vacuum since March 24, 2014, the day the 60-day constitutional deadline began for the election of a head of state.

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March 14 MPs in Bkirki to Protest Yearlong Presidential Vacuum

A delegation from the March 14 alliance lawmakers will visit the Maronite church seat on Tuesday to express resentment over the lingering presidential vacuum.

Al-Mustaqbal newspaper reported Friday that the delegation will meet with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi to denounce the ongoing vacuum.

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U.S. Official Says Presidential Polls Not Ultimate Problem Solver

The U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs has reiterated Washington's support for Lebanon to meet the challenges it is facing and said the presidential elections would not solve all of the country's issues.

Lawrence Silverman said on Thursday at a conference organized by the Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce in New York that the U.S. stands by Lebanon to confront the challenges it is facing as a result of conflicts in the region.

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Derbas Pessimistic over Lingering Crises: Vacuum Shattering Lebanon

Minister of Social Affairs Rashid Derbas expressed pessimism on Sunday over the crises gripping the country, pointing out that the repercussions of the prolonged presidential vacuum began surfacing.

“Sickness symptoms are breaking the Lebanese body... holes began appearing in the ship, which indicates its sinking due to the nearly one year presidential vacuum,” Derbas said in comments published in the Kuwaiti al-Seyassah newspaper.

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