Aoun and Berri discussed the presidential stalemate at the latter's residence in Ain al-Tineh. (The Daily Star/Lebanese Parliament, HO)
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MP Michel Aoun said after talks with Speaker Nabih Berri Monday that minor progress had been made in the presidential crisis, despite the generally gloomy prospects for ending the deadlock that has left Lebanon without a president for more than nine months.The Free Patriotic Movement leader's meeting with Berri came amid signs that several rounds of talks between the FPM and the Lebanese Forces have foundered over the presidential election deadlock, dashing hopes for a long-awaited meeting between Aoun and LF chief Samir Geagea. Despite several rounds of hectic talks between officials from the FPM and LF covering key domestic issues, including the presidential election, the sources said: "Aoun's relations with the LF are back to square one".With his presidential chances uncertain and the reconciliation attempt with Geagea in trouble, Aoun sought to raise some hope over the presidential impasse. However, parliamentary sources close to Aoun sounded pessimistic about an imminent breakthrough in ties between the two sides, or about holding a meeting between Aoun and Geagea.The LF's deputy leader MP George Adwan said it would be illogical for the LF to support Aoun, given his political alliance with Hezbollah.However, the LF sought to play down Adwan's remarks, saying it upheld the dialogue with the FPM and did not veto any presidential candidate.
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