Hariri receives Bassil at his residence in Beirut, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. (The Daily Star/Grace Kassab)
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Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri launched a new round of negotiations Thursday in an attempt to solve a near three-month Cabinet deadlock, culminating in a long-anticipated meeting with Free Patriotic Movement Gebran Bassil, political sources said.Bassil and Hariri discussed "the latest political developments," including the formation of the government over dinner, a statement from the Hariri's office read.Bassil previously said that he would meet with Hariri once any new developments arose after originally being expected to meet the premier-designate upon returning from a trip to Washington in late July.After the near two-hour meeting with Berri, Hariri said it was "very positive".Three main obstacles Hariri is faced with in his attempts at a new government are the Lebanese Forces demanding a so-called sovereign ministry – Interior, Foreign, Defense, and Finance; the FPM demanding 11 ministers in a 30-member Cabinet; and the Progressive Socialist Party calling for being able to name all three Druze ministers in the Cabinet.
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