Berri receives Hariri in Beirut, Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. (The Daily Star/Hassan Ibrahim, HO)
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Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Speaker Nabih Berri issued a joint appeal Monday to the country's various political and religious leaders to work to foil attempts aimed at inciting Shiite-Sunni strife.The two leaders rejected what they called "un-Islamic practices" as part of an organized campaign to inflame sentiments and incite citizens against each other, according to a joint statement issued after Hariri's meeting with Berri at the latter's residence in Ain al-Tineh Monday night. Although the statement only said that Hariri and Berri discussed current developments in Lebanon and the speaker hosted a dinner for the former, the two leaders were believed to have pondered ways to smooth the diplomatic rift with Saudi Arabia and defuse renewed tension between the Future Movement and Hezbollah.Hariri and Berri also discussed the fate of a Parliament session, scheduled for Wednesday, to elect a president amid signs that it is destined to fail like the previous 35 attempts over a lack of quorum, further extending the 21-month-long presidential vacuum, political sources said. Berri said Sunday the Future-Hezbollah dialogue should go on because the alternative is street violence.Ahead of his meeting with Berri, Hariri denounced the closure of roads in Beirut and rejected attempts to incite strife.
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