President Michel Sleiman, left, receives Prime Minister designate Tammam Salam in Baabda, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
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Mediators renewed efforts Wednesday to address Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun's objection to rotating ministerial portfolios in the new Cabinet, a day after Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah met caretaker Energy Minister Gebran Bassil.Speaking to The Daily Star, a March 8 source said that Nasrallah asked Bassil to relay to Aoun his wish that the FPM leader engage mediators and make them aware of demands he wanted met in return for abandoning his claim to the Energy Ministry. Nasrallah reportedly conveyed this request during Bassil's visit on behalf of Aoun to the Hezbollah leader Tuesday. The source said that during the meeting, Nasrallah told Bassil, Aoun's son-in-law, that Hezbollah would back the FPM in its decision to oppose rotation and to boycott a Cabinet in which the party was not given the representation it sought. Aoun argues that the principle of rotating ministerial portfolios aims only at stripping his group of the Energy Ministry.Caretaker Minister of State for Administrative Development Mohammad Fneish ruled out the formation of an all-embracing government that excludes the FPM, adding that his party, Hezbollah, would remain committed to the memorandum of understanding inked with the FPM in February 2006 .
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