Hariri meets Western ambassadors to Lebanon.
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Senior government officials praised Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri Sunday for ending the 29-month power vacuum with his decision to endorse Michel Aoun's nomination for the presidency, saying the move raised hopes for the country's future. Caretaker Prime Minister Tammam Salam sounded optimistic about the country's future following the political deal reached between the Future Movement and the Free Patriotic Movement that led to the election of Aoun as president with an absolute majority during a Parliament session on Oct. 31, and Hariri's return to the premiership.The real victory was for Lebanon, which regained its political quorum," Machnouk said in an interview published in the Saudi daily Asharq al-Awsat Sunday. He made a distinction between Aoun the FPM founder and Aoun the president.However, a senior Hezbollah official said the election of Aoun as president has strengthened the party politically and boosted its popular standing.Hezbollah, which had stuck to Aoun as its sole candidate for the presidency since 2014, had been accused along with the FPM by the Future Movement and its March 14 allies of obstructing the election of a president with their consistent boycott of Parliament sessions unless Aoun's victory was guaranteed.
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