FPM leader Michel Aoun speaks during a press conference at his residence in Rabieh, north of Beirut, Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun threatened Tuesday to boycott the national dialogue as efforts to reach a deal over military promotions, a key demand of the FPM, appeared to unravel, dashing hopes for reviving the role of Parliament and the government. Further adding to the confusion and uncertainty surrounding the reported deal over military promotions was the sudden outbreak of a verbal feud between Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil and Aoun, reflecting long-simmering tension between Speaker Nabih Berri and the FPM leader. Aoun Tuesday took a tough stance on the issue of military promotions, saying his bloc was not demanding promotions, but appointments.Aoun hinted at boycotting next week's national dialogue session if the row over the military promotions was not resolved.Parliamentary sources in the FPM said the inclusion of the ISF appointments in the military promotions agreed upon during talks held on the sidelines of the national dialogue last week amounted to "a time bomb" aimed at either testing Aoun's reaction, or undermining the accord reached during the meeting attended by Berri, Prime Minister Tammam Salam, Aoun, former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, MP Walid Jumblatt and MP Mohammad Raad, head of Hezbollah's bloc in Parliament.
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