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Hezbollah backs Aoun on security appointments: report

Source: The Daily Star — Hezbollah will support “any decision” Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun makes on key security appointments, local newspaper As-Safir said Monday.

According to the report, Hezbollah’s stance has been conveyed to Lebanese political officials.

Information Minister Ramzi Joreige said efforts were underway to ease tensions between different political factions in a bid to reach a solution over security appointments.

The Cabinet is set to meet Monday amid a wide gap over the issue of military and security appointments, while differences over dealing with the security situation on the outskirts of the northeastern border town of Arsal have been narrowed, according to Education Minister Elias Bou Saab.

“We don’t expect any security appointments to be made Monday because this is a very contentious issue,” Bou Saab, who belongs to Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement, told The Daily Star.

He suggested that any discussion over the security appointments issue would again be postponed to a Cabinet session Thursday, a day before the term of Internal Security Forces chief Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Basbous expires.

Speaker Nabih Berri promised to defend the Cabinet, threatened by differences among ministers over the issues of security and military appointments, and Arsal’s outskirts.

“The issue of Arsal as a town is being tackled. The Army has begun [implementing] its measures in some of [Arsal’s] neighborhoods,” Berri was quoted as saying by visitors at his Ain al-Tineh residence.

“The case of Arsal as a town is one thing and its outskirts is another. Sectarian sensitivity has been removed from the town’s file and the Army is responsible for its security,” he said.

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