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On a day hailed as historic for Lebanon, the international community praised the country's success in electing Gen. Michel Aoun as the new president of the republic Monday, ending a nearly 2-1/2-year-long political deadlock.Similarly, Italian President Sergio Mattarella praised Lebanon, while acknowledging stable diplomatic and economic ties between the countries.The political stalemate that left Lebanon without a president for over two years, damaged the country's economy and stalled progress within the country's institutions and parliament.Separately, the International Support Group for Lebanon – a U.N.-backed consortium of several states and international institutions launched in 2003 to support Lebanon's stability, sovereignty and state institutions – released a statement applauding the end of Lebanon's political impasse.The group urged Lebanese lawmakers to act quickly to form a government.Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quick to praise Aoun's election.As a result of Aoun's ties with Hezbollah, the newly elected president has maintained amicable relations with the Iranian government.According to the same source, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi also phoned Aoun immediately after the election session.
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