President Michel Sleiman and Salam hold talks in Baabda.
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Despite pertinent divergence among its components, the primary role of the new government will be to create a political atmosphere favorable to negotiation and compromise over an array of issues – chief among them the presidential election – analysts said over the weekend.Salam announced Saturday his government of "national interest," bringing together figures from the country's rival political groups and ending a 10-month stalemate.Health Minister Wael Abu Faour, who under the supervision of Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt played a pivotal role in brokering a deal on the government, acknowledged the political split within the Cabinet. Last but not least, Saab said, the government will have to flesh out a security strategy to protect Lebanese society from the growing threat of militant jihadist groups.Slim noted that Hezbollah wanted a new government in order to bolster domestic security and defuse Sunni-Shiite friction that has reached alarming levels.Saab and Slim were less bitter, maintaining that both camps had offered major concessions in order for a Cabinet to see the light.
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