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Jumblatt, Arslan thank officials for condolences

President Michel Sleiman, left, receives PSP leader Walid Jumblatt, center, and MP Talal Arslan at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra)

BEIRUT: Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt and the head of the Lebanese Democratic Party, Talal Arslan, thanked top officials Thursday for the condolences paid after the recent passing of the Chouf MP’s mother. Jumblatt and Arslan began their round of visits at Baabda Palace, where they spoke with President Michel Sleiman. A statement from Sleiman’s office said that the three discussed political and security developments in the country during the meeting, as well as efforts to form a new government and the regional situation.

Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam is confronting many obstacles in his efforts to put together a Cabinet due to conditions and counter-conditions set by the March 8 and March 14 coalitions.

Jumblatt and Arslan also paid a visit to Speaker Nabih Berri at his Ain al-Tineh residence. Later, the two rival Druze leaders met caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati at his Verdun home.

The two politicians had their final stop at Moseitbeh, where they called on Salam.

May Jumblatt, the widow of PSP founder Kamal Jumblatt and daughter of veteran Druze politician Shakib Arslan, passed away earlier this month at the age of 85.

Last week, the two received condolences at Jumblatt’s residence in his hometown of Mukhtara and in the Clemenceau neighborhood of Beirut, where politicians and diplomats flocked to pay their respects.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on September 20, 2013, on page 3.

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