Berri receives Bassil and Ferzli in Ain al-Tineh. (The Daily Star/Hasan Ibrahim, HO)
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Speaker Nabih Berri discussed the Cabinet formation with Free Patriotic Movement leader Gebran Bassil Monday in an icebreaking meeting that nonetheless failed to lead to any breakthrough in the delayed process, political sources told The Daily Star.Berri told visitors after the meet that Bassil had relayed the FPM's position on Cabinet formation, claiming neither he nor the party was obstructing the process as had been widely reported.Berri quoted Bassil as saying repeatedly that the FPM was not targeting any faction with its ministerial demands, but was merely asking for "its share".The contents of the meet were later relayed to Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri by Berri's top aide, caretaker Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil, in a meeting at Hariri's downtown Beirut residence, a source close to Hariri told The Daily Star.The premier-designate later insisted the next government would comprise all the country's main political factions within a "national entente government," a point Berri also emphasized to his visitors earlier in the day.
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