President Michel Sleiman, left, receives Minister Ali Hasan Khalil, center, and Hezbollah official Hajj Hussein Khalil in Baabda, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
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A glimmer of hope emerged Tuesday over the formation of a new government following a fresh flurry of political activity aimed at breaking the nine-month stalemate, with a key adviser to President Michel Sleiman striking an upbeat note about the birth of an 8-8-8-Cabinet soon.Sleiman met earlier Tuesday with caretaker Health Minister Ali Hasan Khalil, a political aide to Berri, and Hussein Khalil, a political adviser to Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, at Baabda Palace in the latest attempt to facilitate the formation of a new Cabinet, stalled for nine months by conditions and counterconditions set forth by the rival factions over the shape of the government.When the two aides asked Sleiman whether he opposed Hezbollah's participation in a new Cabinet, the president's answer was in the negative, saying he favored a government that included all the parties, a senior March 8 source told The Daily Star.Sleiman, according to the source, said he was ready to meet Berri to discuss any Cabinet formula.
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