Former President Amin Gemayel speaks during a press conference at the Kataeb headquarters in Beirut, Saturday, March 15, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Officials scrambled Sunday to avert a crisis over the Cabinet's policy statement following a threat by the Kataeb Party to withdraw its ministers unless a clause on the state's authority in defending Lebanon was amended.Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai voiced support for the Kataeb stance, urging government officials to resolve the ambiguity in the policy statement over the state's role in defending Lebanon.Joreige is one of three ministers representing the Kataeb Party in the 24-member Cabinet, which was jolted by an internal crisis shortly after it approved a compromise formula over the controversial resistance clause early Saturday.Three Kataeb ministers along with Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi from the Future Movement have voiced reservations over a clause in the policy statement that fails to put Hezbollah's armed resistance against Israeli occupation under state authority as demanded by the March 14 coalition. Hasan Rifai, a veteran legal expert, said he expected the Cabinet to amend the policy statement with "two words" to appease the Kataeb.
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