President Michel Sleiman speaks during a ceremony in Beirut, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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President Michel Sleiman Sunday criticized political demands hindering the formation of a new Cabinet, saying it was disgraceful that after 10 months efforts had failed to produce a Cabinet lineup.Speaking to reporters before a St. Maroun Day Mass in Beirut, Sleiman also said he had recently asked France for advanced weapons to help the Lebanese Army become the sole force responsible for countering Israeli aggression. MP Michel Aoun wants his son-in-law, Gebran Bassil, to retain his post at the Energy Ministry in the next Cabinet while a recent deal brokered to end the months-long political impasse calls for the formation of an all-embracing 8-8-8 Cabinet with the rotation of ministerial portfolios among others.Sleiman also spoke about the international support for the Lebanese Army embodied in the recent Saudi grant to the military and an upcoming conference in Italy.Commenting on the Cabinet formation process, Qassem advised Sleiman and Salam to exert more efforts to pave the way for the birth of an all-embracing government.
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