Prime Minister Tammam Salam, center, heads a Cabinet session at the Grand Serail in Beirut, Friday, May 16, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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The Lebanese government Friday approved a proposal to lower phone call rates and Internet costs in the country during a Cabinet session that lasted over six hours.The Cabinet also referred a plan on establishing camps for Syrian refugees to the Higher Defense Council and will discuss the topic in upcoming sessions. The proposal was not put to a vote before the Cabinet.Following the session, Environment Minister Mohammed Machnouk said Cabinet also discussed solid waste management.A senior Hezbollah official said the party would not attend a voting session unless politicians agreed beforehand on a consensus candidate.President Michel Sleiman Friday also waded into the controversy over the presidential election, calling on Parliament to elect a new head of state to avoid the perils of a vacuum.Presidential hopeful Samir Geagea, who received 48 votes in the first round of voting, left Beirut Friday for a tour of European and Arab states, holding talks with French and Saudi officials as well as former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a political source said.
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