File - Prime Minister designate Tammam Salam speaks during a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, Thursday, April 11, 2013. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra)
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Prime Minister Tammam Salam sounded downbeat Sunday about the election of a new president soon, in sharp contrast with Speaker Nabih Berri, who has repeatedly spoken about "positive internal and external signals" to break the 6-month-old presidential stalemate.Asked to comment on Berri's optimism, Salam replied he did not have any specific details and information pointing to positive developments over the presidential election.However, Berri stuck to his optimism over the presidential election, reiterating that he still saw "positive signals" both at home and abroad in this regard.Speaking to visitors, Salam said he was in contact with all the parties over the presidential impasse and was working to energize Cabinet work, which has been paralyzed as a result of differences among the ministers.Salam, who canceled Independence Day celebrations because of the deadlock over electing a president, received a letter Sunday from French President Francois Hollande congratulating him on the independence anniversary, which fell Saturday, and pledging support for Lebanon's unity and stability.Hollande called in his letter for the election of a president as soon as possible.
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