Walid Joumblatt receives Bassil in Beirut, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
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As online tensions between Free Patriotic Movement and Progressive Socialist Party officials threaten to move to the streets, the two parties will form a committee to calm "the situation [before it] escalates further," a senior PSP source told The Daily Star Friday.The social media outburst started with a July tweet from PSP leader Walid Joumblatt that attacked the FPM's leader, caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil.FPM caretaker Environment Minister Tarek Khatib then retaliated by removing Nizar Hani – said to be backed by the PSP – from his position as director of the Chouf Biosphere Reserve, a move many observers viewed as a demotion.Following a week of intense rhetoric, both the FPM and the PSP called for calm, and issued respective circulars directing representatives, MPs and caretaker ministers to avoid engaging in political or media debates with each other.
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