President Michel Sleiman gestures as he arrives to attend the National Dialogue session in Baabda, Sunday, March 30, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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President Michel Sleiman chaired Monday a National Dialogue session, despite a boycott by several parties, including Hezbollah, with the group's weapons constituting the most divisive outstanding issue.Sleiman opened the session by playing a two-minute audio recording of the June, 2012 Dialogue session in which the rival parties agreed on the Baabda Declaration, an attempt to remind the parties of their vow to keep Lebanon out of regional conflicts, according to a source close to the president.The statement concluded by calling on all parties to take part in the next Dialogue session scheduled for May 5 .Hezbollah's decision to boycott the Dialogue came after its secretary-general, Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, voiced over the weekend resentment towards Sleiman, who has repeatedly criticized the party over its military role in neighboring Syria.MP Jean Ogassapian, a Future parliamentary bloc member, told Voice of Lebanon radio ahead of the session that the Dialogue would tackle Sleiman's proposal on resolving the question of Hezbollah's arsenal.
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