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The Lebanese cabinet held a meeting on Monday at the Baabda Presidential Palace to discuss the issue of the building that collapsed on Sunday in Ashrafieh district of the capital Beirut.

The meeting was headed by President Michel Suleiman .

Following the meeting , Acting Minister of Information Wael Abu Faour told reporters that the cabinet decided to task the Higher Relief Committee with providing “temporary housing” for the families that were affected by the collapse of the building

Abu Faour said that the cabinet also decided to form a committee headed by Interior Minister Marwan Charbel to carry out investigations into the causes of the collapse of the building. The committee is also tasked with presenting a report on buildings that are likely to collapse and offer suggestions that would assist the Civil Defense in dealing with such incidents.

Abu Faour said that Mikati informed the cabinet about a preliminary report regarding the causes of the “catastrophe” and its consequences.

At least twenty six people were killed when a residential building collapsed in Beirut and rescue workers were searching on Monday for people believed still buried under the rubble, Lebanese officials said.

“Until now, 26 bodies have been recovered and we believe there are more buried under the building that collapsed Sunday evening,” International Red Cross (IRC) official Georges Kettaneh told AFP on Monday evening.

Kettaneh also said that 12 wounded were recovered from under the rubble

Ban’s visit

Abu Faour also said that Suleiman commented on the visit of UN chief Ban Ki-moon to Lebanon last week saying that “it focused on implementing [UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1701],” adding that the visit “was an opportunity to underline Lebanon’s commitment to the implementation of Resolution 1701, regardless of the Israeli violations.”

Suleiman also reported that, during Ban’s visit, Lebanese authorities discussed “the issue of [offshore natural resources] and informed the UN chief that, in the event of an attack, this might turn into a [sensitive] matter. This requires the UN to provide security [for Lebanon] to explore its offshore resources.”

Ban arrived in Beirut on Friday on a three-day official visit

UNSCR 1701 helped solidify a ceasefire to the July 2006 War between Hezbollah and Israel. It calls on Israel to respect Lebanon’s sovereignty and on Hezbollah to disarm.

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