President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil and Defense Minister Yaacoub Sarraf pictured at a Cabinet meeting Thursday Feb. 8 2018. (The Daily Star/Mohamad Azakir)
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Emboldened by the Cabinet's approval of the 2018 draft state budget, President Michel Aoun signed a decree Tuesday calling for an extraordinary parliamentary session in a move aimed at expediting the document's ratification ahead of international donor conferences in support of Lebanon.Kanaan confirmed in a tweet that the 2018 draft budget has arrived in Parliament.The country's two leading blocs, the Future Movement's parliamentary bloc and the Free Patriotic Movement's Change and Reform bloc, praised the Cabinet's passing of the 2018 budget along with a host of reforms, saying the move would help shore up Lebanon's economic and financial stability and ensure the success of the government's investment programs to be presented to the CEDRE conference in Paris next month.Aoun praised the Cabinet's passing of the 2018 draft budget.Earlier in the day, Kanaan, who chaired a preliminary meeting of the Finance and Budget Committee, said he would call for successive sessions of the committee in the morning and evening to study the 2018 draft budget and get it ready for Parliament's general assembly for final ratification.The parliamentary Future bloc praised the Cabinet's move.
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