BEIRUT — Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati held a meeting on Wednesday at the Grand Serail to "resolve the dispute" between caretaker Defense Minister Maurice Slim and army chief Joseph Aoun, as the two men have been at odds for months — notably over appointments within the army.
In a statement issued Wednesday, the Grand Serail said that "the meeting focused on the situation of the military institution and the relationship between the Defense Ministry and the army command."
"It was agreed to resolve differences in a spirit of solidarity to preserve the army and its role," the statement continued.
Slim, who is known to be close to former president Michel Aoun and his camp, has recently clashed with the army's commander-in-chief on several occasions, over appointments within the army and, lately over the sale of military material by Joseph Aoun.
Joseph Aoun's name has also circulated as a potential presidential consensus figure, but Free Patriotic Movement head Gebran Bassil has categorically opposed electing the army chief as president.
Najib Mikati also held a meeting Wednesday on "the financial needs of the army and all security agencies" at the Grand Serail.
The meeting was attended by caretaker Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi and the heads of the Internal Security Forces Imad Osman, State Security's Tony Saliba and Elias Bayssari, who is acting director of the General Security and succeeded Abbas Ibrahim last week.
This is the first such meeting for General Bayssari since he took office.