Aoun heads a Cabinet meeting in Baabda, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
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President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri Thursday said it was necessary for Lebanon to make economic reforms and endorse the 2018 draft state budget ahead of three donor conferences to be held in the coming months. Aoun and Hariri's statements came during a Cabinet session held at Baabda Palace to discuss a 66-item agenda. Hariri called for a Cabinet session to be held that would focus on economic reforms that require certain laws to be amended.Hariri explained that the reforms would benefit Lebanon and its economy.The Cabinet also agreed to build 43 honorary consulates in 28 countries, approving a request from the State Security for allocations worth LL685 billion to cover the expenses of recently appointed employees and a request from the Foreign Ministry to appoint nonresident ambassadors abroad.The Cabinet session followed a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who spent one day in Beirut meeting with the country's top officials.After Tillerson's visit to Baabda Palace, Aoun met with Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt who affirmed Lebanon's commitment to its stance on the land and maritime border.
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