President Michel Aoun, right, shakes hands with Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit in Baabda, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
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President Michel Aoun Friday called on Arab countries to close ranks, stressing that their solidarity was essential to confronting challenges threatening to divide the Arab world. Aoun spoke during a meeting with Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit, who arrived in Beirut earlier in the day. It will focus on inter-Arab relations and how the new U.S. administration under President Donald Trump will deal with the Arab world.Aboul Gheit said he discussed the issue with Hariri.Aboul Gheit described his meeting with Hariri as "extremely important".Aboul Gheit said his talks with Berri focused on the refugee crisis in Lebanon and means to preserve the country given the strain of hosting more than 1 million Syrian refugees.Although Hezbollah stood firm in its support for Aoun for president during the 29-month presidential vacuum, Nasrallah has stressed in his speeches that Frangieh, Aoun's rival for the post, was Hezbollah's ally.
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