Hariri shaking hands with Hollande at the Elysée Palace.
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French President Francois Hollande is very keen on ending the presidential vacuum, said former Prime Minister Saad Hariri who also warned Tuesday that the economic situation in Lebanon has reached an alarming stage as a result of the ongoing vacancy in the top Christian post.Hariri spoke to reporters in Paris after holding talks with Hollande centering on means to end the presidential vacuum which soon enters its third year to no hope in sight. The head of the Future Movement said that he discussed with Hollande the presidential vacuum and its impact on the work of state institutions and the Lebanese economy, pointing out that he sensed the president's interest to end this vacuum. Hariri's visit to Paris followed a letter Hollande sent to Speaker Nabih Berri last week in which he said that France is exerting efforts to resolve the presidential election crisis.The letter also came one day after Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai held talks with the French president in Paris in which he reportedly asked Hollande to intercede with Saudi Arabia and Iran, the two regional adversaries which wield great influence in Lebanon, to help in the quick election of a president. Hariri said he did not have a problem in meeting with MP Michel Aoun, Hezbollah's sole presidential candidate, who is also backed by the Lebanese Forces.
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