From left, Speaker Nabih Berri, President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri meet at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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During an ice-breaking meeting at Baabda Palace, the country's top leaders agreed Tuesday to revive the work of the Cabinet and Parliament and create a favorable political and security climate for Lebanon's first parliamentary elections in nine years, set for May. President Michel Aoun, Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Saad Hariri also agreed on a resolution to the 2-month-old standoff between the president and the speaker over a decree promoting a number of Army officers that was at the root of heightened political tensions between the two leaders, a political source told The Daily Star.Both Berri and Hariri expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the Baabda meeting which addressed,among other things, the officers' decree dispute between Aoun and Berri and aimed to de-escalate political tensions and bolster stability in the face of Israel's threats against Lebanon's offshore oil and gas exploration.The Berri said he stressed during the Baabda meeting the need for the Cabinet to speed up the approval of the 2018 draft state budget and send it to Parliament so as to avoid the delays in the ratification of budgets that had happened in the past.
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