MPs in Parliament congratulate Prime Minister Tammam Salam and ministers of his government after winning a vote of confidence on Thursday, March 20, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Prime Minister Tammam Salam's coalition government easily won a vote of confidence in Parliament Thursday following two days of often-heated exchanges between lawmakers over Hezbollah's arsenal and its military intervention in Syria.The Parliament vote, ending almost a year of political logjam, gave Lebanon a fully empowered government for the first time since Prime Minister Najib Mikati's Cabinet resigned in March last year."We need to boost this consensus to a higher level so it can constitute a permanent protection and safety net for our country," Salam said.Salam said he agreed with three core demands made by lawmakers in speeches during Parliament's two-day debate of the Cabinet's policy statement: achieving security, addressing the tragedy of more than 1 million Syrian refugees who have fled for safety to Lebanon and holding the presidential elections on time. Former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, head of the parliamentary Future bloc, said the new Cabinet provided a chance for the Lebanese to steer their country toward safety amid severe storms lashing the region.
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