Cardinal Dominique Mamberti, center, speaks to Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai at the headquarters of the Maronite church in Bkirki on Friday, May 29, 2015. (The Daily Star/Maronite Patriarchate Bkerke, HO)
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A special envoy of Pope Francis arrived in Beirut Friday in the Vatican's latest attempt to resolve a political crisis that has left Lebanon without a president for more than a year.The delayed Cabinet action on these two issues is apparently aimed at giving time for mediators to reach a compromise over the Army commander's post, currently at the center of a heated debate as Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun staunchly opposes the extension of Army commander Gen. Jean Kahwagi's term when it expires on Sept. 23 .Gen. Shamel Roukoz, Aoun's son-in-law, who heads the Army Commando Unit, as commander in exchange for the FPM leader dropping his candidacy for the presidency, the sources said.The MPs stressed that a tradeoff between the Army Command and the presidency is not on Aoun's agenda at all.A delegation from Arsal's notables and mayor led by Future MPs Jammal Jarrah and Ziad Qaderi met with Salam and Machnouk, amid calls by ministers from Aoun's bloc and Hezbollah on the Army to take action to oust ISIS and Nusra Front militants entrenched on the town's outskirts.
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