Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri shakes hands with Prime Minister Tammam Salam at the Grand Serail in Downtown Beirut, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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Political and religious figures in Lebanon welcomed former Prime Minister Saad Hariri's surprise return Friday, expressing hope that the move would bring progress to the country stuck in political and security crises.Hariri's Twitter account posted that Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri called the former PM to congratulate him for returning safely to Lebanon. Media reports said that Hariri received another phone call from Kataeb head Amine Gemayel welcoming the step. Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi hailed Hariri's decision to return, saying the move was a turning point. The head of the General Maronite Council, former Minister Wadih Khazen, also called Hariri congratulating him for the safe return to Beirut.
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