Berri receives Hariri in Ain al-Tineh, Sunday, July 31, 2016. (The Daily Star/Ali Fawaz, HO)
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A sudden outburst of political escalation between Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah and former premier Saad Hariri has cast gloom over a crucial round of national dialogue, amid dim hopes that rival leaders would be able to make any breakthrough either in the presidential election deadlock or in a new vote system.Speaker Nabih Berri met with Hariri Sunday night as part of his consultations with top leaders on the eve of the three successive national dialogue sessions slated to be held at Berri's Ain al-Tineh residence this week. The dialogue sessions figured high during the Berri-Hariri's meeting, which was also attended by Nader Hariri, chief of Hariri's staff, and Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil, a top political aide to the speaker.Future MP Samir Jisr echoed a similar view, saying Nasrallah's "escalatory speech" would negatively affect the national dialogue sessions.Berri has set a new session for Aug. 8 .
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