Former Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri leaves at the end of a meeting with the French president at the Elysee Palace in Paris on October 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ ALAIN JOCARD
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Ex-Prime Minister Saad Hariri took his initiative to end the presidential stalemate to Paris Thursday, discussing the crisis with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault.The meeting is the latest in a series of high-level consultations Hariri has undertaken with local and international actors in a bid to end the two-and-a-half-year-long presidential crisis. Over the last month, Hariri met separately with Aoun, his presidential rival MP Sleiman Frangieh, Lebanese Forces head Samir Geagea, MP Walid Jumblatt and Speaker Nabih Berri among others in a bid to end the vacancy in the country's top office.Lebanon has been without a president, the highest Christian post, since the term of former President Michel Sleiman ended in May 2014 . Officially, Hariri, Berri and Jumblatt still back Frangieh, while Hezbollah, Geagea and some independents support Aoun. Fellow FPM member Education Minister Elias Bou Saab, however, did attend the meeting.Bassil later gave insight into the presidential crisis.
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