Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri speaks during an interview with LBCI's Kalam an-Nas talk show, in Paris, on Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014. (Photo: The Daily Star)
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The election of a consensus candidate is the only solution to end the political deadlock that has left Lebanon without a president for more than six months, former Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Thursday.Hariri also strongly supported a long-awaited dialogue between his Future Movement and Hezbollah, saying the talks with the influential Shiite party were designed to defuse Sunni-Shiite tensions and shield the country against security threats linked to the war in Syria. Hariri cited Hezbollah's military intervention in Syria, its arsenal, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon which is investigating former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri's 2005 assassination, and Hezbollah's arming of the "Resistance Brigades" as key contentious issues with the party.Commenting on an Iranian military gift to the Lebanese Army, which the government has not yet accepted, Hariri said the best gift Iran can give to Lebanon is to tell Hezbollah to withdraw from Syria.Hariri added that he returned to Lebanon for a brief stay in August because he was concerned about the security situation, and for reasons related to the Saudi grant, promising to return to Lebanon "very soon".
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