Lebanon's former prime minister Saad al-Hariri gestures upon his arrival to attend the 37th presidential election session at the parliament building in Beirut, March 23, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir
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Recent developments signal that the election of Lebanon's next president, whether it's Free Patriotic Movement founder Michel Aoun, Marada Movement head Sleiman Frangieh, or a third candidate, are directly tied to former Prime Minister Saad Hariri's trips abroad.Former Deputy Parliament Speaker Elie Ferzli, who backs Aoun for president, said that a rapprochement between Aoun and Berri would be difficult.The same governmental source said that during Hariri's recent visit to Aoun's residence in Rabieh, he signaled his hopes that Aoun would contact Berri and settle differences between the two. Berri is seeking assurances from Aoun, and not Hariri himself, regarding the potential Cabinet formation if Aoun is elected president, the source said. If Hariri returns to Beirut and adopts a position supporting Aoun for president, Hezbollah then holds the key to restoring peace between Aoun and Berri, following the FPM's withdrawal from national dialogue sessions headed by Berri, the source told The Daily Star.
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