Taymour Jumblatt receives Change and Reform MPs in Clemenceau, Thursday, May 21, 2015. (The Daily Star/HO)
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A meeting between Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk and Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun on the divisive issue of security appointments concluded without a breakthrough, sources close to the FPM said Thursday.Sources said Aoun reiterated his opposition to the extension and proposed appointing the highest ranking officer below Basbous as acting ISF chief if the post cannot be filled.Aoun has hinted that the government could be paralyzed if the terms of top security officials are extended, saying to do so would violate the National Defense Law.Speaker Nabih Berri, Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt, and the leadership of the Future Movement have all voiced support for extending the terms of Basbous and Army commander Gen. Jean Kahwagi if the government fails to agree on their successors, contending that important posts must not be left empty.Aoun has proposed four options to solve the presidential crisis.After the meeting, MP Alain Aoun, of Aoun's bloc, said that the talks were "frank," but that no agreement had been reached regarding the characteristics of a presidential candidate."We adhere to the Taif Accord, and the problem is not in the Constitution but in its implementation," Chehayeb said.He said his group insists that an agreement must be reached on the security appointments.
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