From left, Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil, Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil and Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk attend the ministerial committee meeting at the Grand Serail in Beirut, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Rival Cabinet parties will intensify contacts Thursday in a bid to resolve the remaining sticking point in the draft government policy statement – whether or not it should mention the resistance.The ministerial committee tasked with drafting the statement will hold its seventh meeting Friday at 4 p.m. after a session Wednesday led to an agreement on the controversial Baabda Declaration. The March 14 coalition wants to use the Baabda Declaration instead of the clause stating that Lebanon has the right to liberate any of its territories occupied by Israel according to the "Army, people and resistance" formula mentioned in previous Cabinets' policy statements.During Wednesday's meeting, Hezbollah and Amal ministers said they accepted that the draft policy statement should recognize all decisions made during National Dialogue sessions, implicitly referring to the Baabda Declaration.Berri is the leader of the Amal Movement, one of Hezbollah's key allies.
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