Aoun and Hariri gesture at the end of a press conference at Hariri s Downtown Beirut residence, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri Thursday ended a decade-old rivalry and endorsed MP Michel Aoun for the presidency, hoping his move would protect Lebanon and resolve a two-and-half-year-old crisis.Less than an hour after Hariri's speech, Aoun arrived at the Center House where he was warmly welcomed by his once-arch rival. Aoun addressed the gathering media after the meeting as Hariri beamed by his side – an image thought to be impossible only few months ago. The understanding would also see Hariri appointed prime minister.After the announcement, Aoun made his way to Ain al-Tineh to meet with Berri. Earlier this week, after it became apparent that Hariri would be nominating Aoun, Berri rejected the arrangement, saying that if it were to happen he would become part of the opposition.Berri is instead supporting Marada Movement head Sleiman Frangieh for the presidency, the candidate previously suggested by Hariri himself.
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