Salam, Berri and Siniora attend the Dialogue session in Beirut, Monday, Dec. 21, 2015. (The Daily Star/Lebanese Parliament Website, HO)
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Rival political leaders, including senior officials from the Future Movement and Hezbollah, will meet Monday in two separate rounds of talks aimed at getting the paralyzed government functioning and defusing sectarian tensions, exacerbated by a new strain in Saudi-Iranian ties. Speaker Nabih Berri will chair a national dialogue session at his Ain al-Tineh residence at noon Monday, to be followed in the evening by a new round of talks between the Future Movement and Hezbollah. The two dialogue sessions come as Prime Minister Tammam Salam has called for a Cabinet meeting at 10 a.m. Thursday to discuss some 140 items on the agenda, dealing mainly with socio-economic issues.The FPM has also accused Salam of exercising the president's prerogatives amid the presidential vacuum, a charge denied by the prime minister.Hariri is backing Frangieh's candidacy as part of an initiative to reach a comprehensive settlement to end the presidential vacuum and revive the work of Parliament and the government paralyzed by the power vacuum. The initiative calls for Frangieh to be elected president and for Hariri to be named prime minister. Hariri and former President Michel Sleiman called for the quick election of a president.
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