Hariri receives new Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Walid al-Yaacoub in Beirut. Full Story page 2. (The Daily Star/ Dalati Nohra, HO)
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Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said Wednesday his party was mediating in the row between President Michel Aoun and Speaker Nabih Berri over a decree promoting a number of Lebanese Army officers, but sounded pessimistic about a prompt solution.However, the Hezbollah chief acknowledged that the escalating Aoun-Berri dispute over the signing of the decree promoting Army officers who served under Aoun in the late 1980s when he was Army commander was "delicate and difficult".Hezbollah, which is allied with both Aoun and Berri, has so far stayed neutral on the decree crisis which is threatening to paralyze the work of state institutions.Berri, according to the MPs, said his rift with Aoun over the decree lingered, stressing that compliance with the Constitution would resolve it.Tensions between Aoun and Berri have ramped up over the decree, which skipped the finance minister's signature.Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil, a key political aide to Berri, warned last week of an "open confrontation" with Aoun if the officers' decree was not revoked.In a bid to defuse tensions between Aoun and Berri, Hariri has asked Fouad Fleifel, the Cabinet's secretary-general, to put off the publication of the decree in the Official Gazette until a solution is found to the dispute.
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