Cabinet convened in the presence of only one FPM minister, Bou Saab.
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After nearly a month of paralysis, Cabinet met Thursday and issued essential official appointments as the Future Movement rejected the ongoing political stagnation, warning of its detrimental social and economic consequences.Political sources told The Daily Star that Speaker Nabih Berri is set to dispatch his top aide, Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil, to meet with Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai Friday to try and defuse tensions and dispel any misunderstandings between Rai and Berri after a verbal spat erupted earlier this week. Foreign Minister and FPM President Gebran Bassil, however, was absent.The Maronite council's statement was issued Wednesday, following Berri and Rai's dispute. Berri also backed the statement at the time. Hariri undertook a series of high-level meetings last week in an attempt to help end the presidential crisis, separately meeting with Lebanese Forces head Samir Geagea and FPM founder MP Michel Aoun among other leaders.Speaking to visitors Thursday, Berri distanced himself from the presidential crisis.Amal Movement MP Qassem Hashem Thursday defended Berri, rejecting any claims that the speaker was contributing to the political deadlock.
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